Home » Gadgets » Acer Dual-Boot OS Netbooks Miss the Mark

Acer Dual-Boot OS Netbooks Miss the Mark


Dual-OS to become a standard for Acer dual-core netbooks. News: Acer plans to adopt dual-operating systems (Windows 7 and Android) as one of the standard specifications for its future dual-core Atom-based netbooks.

Acer’s approach would allow consumers to boot Windows 7 for business and “old style” computing needs while booting Google’s Android for a smartphone-like app-centric experience.

Unfortunately, a reboot takes a minute for Windows and a bit less for Android. Hardly the experience users want in the go-fast, multi-tasking world of 2011. Acer’s efforts miss the mark on what users want.

Today’s gadget-oriented consumers are clambering for the ability to run smartphone apps on traditional operating systems. Apple is headed in that direction, but is taking its time getting there, as I wrote recently.

Android is an operating system written in Java. As such, it runs inside a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), albeit one that expects to sit on bare iron.

If Google wised up and ported Android to run inside the Microsoft Windows JVM, it could provide users with the productivity apps from smartphones inside the familiar Windows environment. Wouldn’t that be nice. And it would not require the hardware needed to run a virtual machine, such as is lacking on Atom-based netbooks. [Update: You can run Android apps on your Windows PC today if you are comfortable installing the Android developer’s kit. Same would apply with the iOS developer kit from Apple plus the $99 dev fee.  Not a mass-market solution, to be sure.]

So Google, that’s my prescription to help out your friends at Acer, not to mention the rest of the Windows-based PC industry. Put Android on Windows in a JVM.

Google, unfortunately, is in a legal tussle with Oracle, the owner of Java, over whether Google is licensed to do what it did to Java to create Android. That’s the only cloud on the Android horizon.


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