As the curtains drew at CES, one product category seems quite promising – The Hybrid PC. At the event, both Intel and AMD announced plans to collaborate with OEMs for launching computers that will run Windows as well as Android. So what exactly is driving OEMs towards the hybrid PC?
Here’s the answer. Customers’ expectations have changed – they need new technology that can adapt to their needs. Customers these days spend a lot of time online. When they are not on a computer, they are on their smartphones. Managing different devices with different OS can be complicated. As a consumer, I want to be connected 24×7, and if I can get a chance to simply use my favorite smartphone apps on a computer, I will surely be happy and excited about this.
Hybrid PCs offer a seamless and reliable customer experience with the ability of using one device for multiple operating systems. The ease of switching between OS may be the key differentiator that could drive sales. ASUS recently introduced the Transformer Book Duet, a notebook that runs Android and Windows, which uses its patented technology called Instant Switch. It lets you switch operating systems in just four seconds by simply pressing a button. With this feature, a user can access a large number of mobile apps on their PCs.
However, there can be some drawbacks as well. The user experience or the usability of a Windows app on a dual OS platform might not be the same as on a standalone platform. The utilization and optimization of hardware resources may also be limited. It also remains to be seen whether a mainstream consumer will find it complex or simple to manage applications of operating systems for two entirely different platforms (PCs and mobiles) on a single device.
The chip makers – Intel and AMD, have already laid their plans for dual OS platforms and hence the onus is on the OEMs to deliver a seamless customer experience. The OEMs must also be well prepared to meet customers’ tech support needs for managing hybrid devices.