CES 2014: Intel Keynote with Their Dual OS and Edison

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2014 - 12:32 AM |
Tagged: Transformer Book Duet, Intel, CES 2014, CES, asus

Monday, the opening day of CES, was full of keynotes and announcements from Audi to Valve (Yahoo! was the day after). Okay, so that is probably not the complete alphabetical range, but keep reading regardless. The Intel speech had a few surprises including Gabe Newell re-announcing Steam Machines just a couple of hours after his own keynote.

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Possibly the most surprising to me was the "Dual OS platforms" announcement. Frankly, I am fine with using BlueStacks for whatever little Android use that my desktop experiences. I did see a demo of the ASUS Transformer Book Duet, however, which was able to switch between Android and Windows 8.1 with the touch of a button and about 3 seconds of black screen. It seems to be more than emulation and it is pretty clearly not rebooting.

To be clear, the following is speculation (and not even confident at that). I am hypothesizing... not reporting. Unfortunately, Intel (and ASUS) have been very silent on the actual implementation as far as I can tell. Since this is clearly branded as "Android and Windows can be friends", it would not surprise me if this was a baked solution for the two platforms and maybe even special hardware.

One possibility is that hardware or software loads both operating systems into memory or hibernation state. In this way, when the user signals their desire for a change, the former operating system is slept (or hibernated) and the processor is then pointed to the others memory space.

Video credit: PCMag

If the above is the case then I hope popular Linux distributions can get their hands on it. Rebooting is far too annoying for me to try out alternative operating systems and virtualization is also too problematic (at least for now). If I can just suspend and switch, especially with native performance on either end, then I will definitely be willing to play around. Honestly, how expensive are RAM and storage these days?

But, if it is user-accessible, then it would be a major consideration for a future upgrade.

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The other cute little announcement is Edison, a dual core PC in an SD card form factor. The hope is that this device will power wearable computing and make other devices smarter. It is based on 22nm silicon and even includes WiFi. One use case they presented was a bottle warmer which warms the milk before you even get your child.

Despite the late coverage, it was a very interesting keynote. Ars Technica still has their live blog published if you would like to skim through a play-by-play.

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Source: Ars Technica
January 10, 2014 | 01:46 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

This looks great.

January 10, 2014 | 06:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I want something similar to that for my PHONE and the DESKTOP, and please with MS Windows.

I want to have one device that serves both my mobility as well as productivity Needs. For example, take the Asus Phonetab + a (stationary) dock (with support of keyboard, mouse and at least 2 Displays) all with a x86/x64 winOS and I'll spend seriously to get that. Thinking of it, I basically need a VERY small PC with (smart)phone capabilities. :D

January 10, 2014 | 10:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If this trend continues Intel will release a Quark chip, in an even newer suppository form factor, and bring new a meaning to Intel Inside!

January 10, 2014 | 05:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think this shows that Microsoft really missed with Windows 8 and people are turning to Android to fill in the mobile side of the house.

It also shows there's a market for Google upscaling Android to a more capable PC-like platform that isn't dependent on a network connection like Chrome OS is, or making an off-line version of Chrome.

It seems this rapid rise of mobile devices has caught every OS maker off guard and this is the result - cobbled together messes.

The Apple folks are probably shaking their heads in disbelief.

January 11, 2014 | 01:06 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

Having a Windows 8 look more like a mobile OS in the same computer with Android gives extra points to Android. It makes it look more like Windows as much as it (metro ui) makes Windows looks more like Android. Changing in a mater of seconds from Windows to Android and vise versa and not noticing a huge different between the two operating systems is a huge advantage for Google.

I think Microsoft should bring back the desktop and the start menu as quickly as possible. That old thing we call "desktop" gives a much more serious look to windows and at the same time justifies all these opinions about Android being a kid's OS or a fun OS. Microsoft made the worst managing decision of the last 15 years with metro.

January 11, 2014 | 06:06 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

it's the edison that interests me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a pentium 2 that can be worn on a braclet and powered by the human body's own electric feild. What is not to love

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