Asus' dual-boot Transformer Book Duet is dead. At CES this year, one of the big stories was dual-OS devices. Spurred on by encouragement from chipmaker Intel, Asus announced the Transformer Book Duet, a hybrid laptop and tablet that switches between Microsoft Windows and Google's Android on the fly. The device was an intriguing highlight at a trade show that was generally devoid of interesting laptops and tablets, and was scheduled for release in the US this month. Unfortunately, the device has likely been cancelled due to strong opposition from Microsoft and Google, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The writing was on the wall for the Transformer Book Duet
Even before it was announced, the writing was on the wall for the Transformer Book Duet. "[Google and Microsoft] each have their sensitivities to this," one source told us in early January. With pressure mounting from both sides, Asus was forced to abandon the Duet, and, according a leaked memo obtained by the WSJ, it will also stop selling a pair of dual-OS all-in-one PCs it launched last year.
A large reason for the halt of sales, says the memo, is Microsoft has a "new policy" of not supporting dual-OS products. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told us in January that "Microsoft does not want [dual-OS devices] to happen," and now tells The Wall Street Journal that "Google wants all-Android devices" as well. It looks like the software giants got their way this time, and will now force hardware manufacturers — and consumers — to choose between Windows 8.1, Android, Windows RT, and Chrome OS for their upcoming devices.