Dual-OS ASUS Tablet Appears at FCC. How Do They Do That?

Posted on 03 December 2013 by

Dual-OS. It’s a possible solution that could bridge the differences between Windows and leading mobile operating systems if it’s done right. ASUS already teased us with us the dual-OS ATIV-Q but it looks like there’s a smaller tablet offering coming. The M80T has been spotted going through testing at the FCC.

asus-m80t

The dual-OS variants are labelled M82T, L82T and R82T ‘Dual-OS’ and that, my friends, is really all there is to know right now.

The big question is – how is it going to be implemented? There are five possible solutions I know of.

  • Classic dual-boot. (Requires reboot to change systems)
  • Insyde style S3 sleep+Memory partitioning for 4-second switch. (Requires 4GB memory.) See video demo below.
  • Dalvik Runtime solution ( running on top of Windows concurrently) e.g. Bluestacks, Myriad Alien
  • A fully virtualized dual-OS system running concurrently on a Hypervisor. (Complex, requires lots of memory b/w and a strong CPU)
  • Dual-CPU system (a-la Transformer Book Trio) which wouldn’t fit in a small tablet.

Least favoured, but relatively easy, is dual-boot. Let’s be honest though, it’s not user friendly. Least possible but potentially the best solution, is dual virtual containers on a hypervisor but that’s complex, requires a strong memory bus, lots of memory and strong CPU. It’s something that could showcase the strengths of Baytrail-T but would require skilful engineering. In other words, it could be too expensive.

In my eyes, the two solutions that are most likely are Bluestacks (or another Dalvik runtime) or the Insyde BIOS solution (shown in a video below.) The latter does not allow concurrent running. The former, given a Connected Standby build of Windows 8.1, could, but would require quite some work to map-through all the hardware.

Which solution would you prefer? Which do you think is most likely?

Intel are sure to be heavily involved in this. Android + Baytrail is where they are focusing a lot of effort right now. ASUS don’t have an 8-inch Windows tablet offering yet.

Source: Engadget / FCC. Via: Mobilegeeks

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Garry Weil says:

    Chippy,
    Opps I found a small typo in your post: “ASUS already teased us with us the dual-OS ATIV-Q” Asus should be Samsung.

  2. ff says:

    Hm, is anyone actually interested in running android on their tablet/notebook if you have windows 8? I get that android has a slightly better app ecosystem, but is it enough to warrant a dual-os solution? And running an android emulator seems a much better solution to me and just run android apps from windows, if you must.

    Thoughts?

  3. Kyle says:

    I might be interested in running dual os, though it might be one of those things that I want and i end up never booting to android after the first week haha. Though if they had an easy way to switch it might be nice if i wanted to use like touch friendly games or something.

  4. guy says:

    I personally wouldn’t use it much or at all but I am interested in seeing the mentioned solutions happen even though I wouldn’t actually buy those products.

    If anything, I’m more likely to buy a device that does the opposite. If I could get an Android phone that can run Windows or at least desktop Linux software then I’d buy that fairly quickly. Of course, there are lots of hurdles for that happen. I’m currently eying Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish OS (used by Jolla). Both of which can run many of the command line Linux tools I use on the desktop. Also, running desktop Linux apps would technically be possible. Although, an active stylus would be necessary. I’d settle for just the command line apps since I have several Bash scripts already that would make use of that.

  5. Patrick says:

    I am thinking of getting the asus t100 but this might make me want to wait until ces. Only thing is it usually takes months for asus to release there product (if it ever comes to market) so probably get asus t100. I hope asus does what Samsung did with the Ativ q and integrate android apps into windows. On the t100 I am going to use bluestacks when I want to play candy crush or some other game. For productivity and web browsing I will be using windows.

  6. Claudia says:

    There are a handful of Android apps that I use daily for which Windows 8.1 versions either don’t exist or aren’t as good. However, I can either work around them (in Windows 8.1, I go to the BBC website since the BBC app for Windows is nowhere near as good as the Android version) or do without (yeah, I like Scrabble but there are other word games out there).

    Instead of dual-boot devices, I’d like to see the selection of Windows 8.1 apps improve. Since T100 sales are so strong, that should soon start happening in a big way as Windows 8.1 tablets finally start taking off.

  7. mrwed says:

    I am VERY interested in this asus dual-boot device. The biggest reason is the larger app ecosystem and, in particular, the sharing it permits: I can share multiple services in Android (e.g. Pocket, Springpad, etc.) that don’t yet have Windows 8 apps. And the Windows 8 Evernote app seems weak–when I share a page to it from IE, the entry in Evernote often doesn’t contain a link to the page I’ve shared! If this tablet has micro HDMI-out I am almost certain to get it. It would be a huge bonus if it had a kickstand or a docking keyboard as well, but I could make do without either.

  8. Garry Weil says:

    @mrwed
    This is not a “dual boot” device in the sense that it runs either Android OR Windows. Instead both Android and Windows run simultaneous. You can switch between the two OSes with a dedicated key. Also if you detach the tablet it automatically displays the Android UI. The keyboard/dock is still running Windows when detached.

  9. mario says:

    I really don care about this whole multi-boot things, but what need to be done:

    1) FHD option. Just do it already!
    2) A working USB port while charging, even better would be simultaneous micro-USB OTG and a regular size USB.
    3) 3G-enabled with GPS (true, not sensor API) and phone calls.
    4) 64-bit bootloader. With no limitations on OS bitness. I hate Intel for making these crappy BayTrail SOCs, which are 64-bit, but cannot work with 64-bit OS.
    5) “Disable Secure Boot” option, and ability to run Grub4Dos or similar stuff from either USB flash (connected, as stated above, to a regular size USB port) or micro-SD card.
    6) Faster internal drive. eMMC 150-200 MB/s would be fine (like in recent SanDisk announcement), but PCIe-ssd is also acceptable.
    7) May be some UEFI-level virtual keyboard to work with Linux command line interfaces?

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