A new wave of hybrids running both Windows 8 and Android operating systems creates opportunities and challenges for the enterprise, according to Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda.
Samsung has announced a 13.3in hybrid tablet called the ATIV Q that runs both Windows 8 and Android Jelly Bean on an Intel Haswell CPU. Either OS can be activated in both the tablet and laptop modes.
The 14mm thick tablet can be converted into a laptop using a hinge that lifts the screen off the base and allows it to tilt. The screen, which has a very high resolution of 3200x1800, can also be tilted all the way back for use as a display.
Gedda said he expects to see more hybrid devices like the Samsung ATIV Q. The architecture of new hybrid devices, whether it is ARM or x86, supports either Android or Windows, he said. “There’s no reason why you can’t have two in one and ship two operating systems as dual boot.”
Devices running both operating systems could be an advantage for businesses that have bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, said Gedda.
“It gives enterprises the opportunity to say, ‘You can use Android as your regular mobile and tablet OS and use Windows as a work operating system on the same device.'”
However, the availability of these devices also forces IT managers to prepare to manage multiple OS environments, Gedda said.
“If you flip back to the PC space, there were not a lot of dual-boot options, if any,” he said. “It adds another level of complexity for IT managers to have to manage these devices.”
Android comes with its own set of security challenges, said Gedda, “but then again it’s a bit of stretch to say Windows was always secure.
“Whatever environment, it means you have to make sure the data is protected and the applications aren’t compromised.”
Gedda noted that a possible hurdle to dual-OS devices is that they may be confusing to people who are not technology enthusiasts. “Most people would probably just prefer to use one [OS] and stick with it.
“People bring their own device in, they’re comfortable using it, they learn the interface, and they have no reason to change just because they walk in the door on a Monday morning.”
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