When we last reported on speculative details of Google’s upcoming Android 5.0, it was rumored that Jelly Bean would be further optimized for tablets by adding some elements of Chrome OS. This sparked off the assumption that dual-booting with Windows 8 would be possible.
We are now learning that what actually might be included is a native docking mode, similar to Motorola’s Webtop, which launches a custom desktop-like interface when the device is connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. In his latest column for mobile-review, Eldar Murtazin writes that the dual-boot rumor from last week “remains a hypothesis from the realm of fantasy…” and that this may have been confused with a native docking mode similar to what Motorola was doing since the first Motorola Atrix.
He goes on to speculate that it would make more sense for Google to invest in providing expanded desktop apps when a device is docked, than to provide the ability to dual boot into a different OS. I tend to agree. I don’t see any manufacturers interested in creating dual OS devices out of the box, since it would raise the price significantly if Windows had to be included. That’s not to say it won’t be possible… I have faith in the Android development community… but for Google to bake that in natively does seem like a stretch.
With Google’s acquisition of Motorola finally approved, this rumor starts to hold a bit more water. Could Google be re-purposing Webtop itself, or will they build their own docking mode from scratch? Maybe we’ll hear something at this year’s Google I/O.