I hope you liked my video preview of the Asus Transformer Duet recorded at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, because you won’t be seeing the actual laptop for sale. Reportedly bowing to pressure from both Microsoft and Google, Asus is scrapping plans for the dual-boot touchscreen laptop that can run both Windows and Android. Sources familiar with the matter shared the information with the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Here’s a look at the device, which I found promising during a few minutes of hands-on demonstration time. Asus and Intel actually made it simple to quickly switch between operating systems:
The laptop itself was a hybrid device, meaning that you could remove the display and use it as a touchscreen tablet — perfect for Android as needed, of course, but also for Windows 8.1, which is Microsoft’s touch-friendly desktop operating system. Alas, it’s not meant to be.
The WSJ suggests that competition between Microsoft and Google was the primary reason that the two companies pressured Asus to squash the product. Clearly, Windows Phone is in direct competition with Android on mobile devices. And although it may not seem as if the duo compete on the desktop, I’ve noted for nearly a year that Google’s long-term Chrome and Chrome OS strategy is a shot at Windows and Apple’s Mac OS X as well.
While consumers lose out with one less interesting choice in the market, the bigger blow may come to Intel. Its chip and technology were used to showcase the Transformer Duet in January as the device was part of Intel’s CES keynote address. The idea of a hybrid laptop that could be used for both desktop and mobile use was seen as Intel’s way to further boost its mobile presence. Now, thanks to two major software companies with a large amount of influence, Intel will have to find another way to make gains in tablets.