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Huawei reverses course on dual-boot Windows, Android phones, won’t do them now

Just this past weekend it was reported by TrustedReviews that Huawei – who makes low-cost Android and Windows Phones – would be making a single, dual boot version for later this year. However, FierceWireless now has a statement from Huawei, and they’re back peddling on the plans, effectively cancelling the device.

In a statement to FierceWireless, Huawei said:

"Huawei Consumer Business Group adopts an open approach towards mobile operating systems to provide a range of choices for consumers. However, most of our products are based on Android OS, [and] at this stage there are no plans to launch a dual-OS smartphone in the near future."

That contradicts an earlier statement by Huawei device CMO Shao Yang who claimed such a device was in the works and would be released in Q2, even in the US market. Huawei also reasserted their interest in Windows Phone, noting if people want them, they will continue to make them.

It’s not clear what exactly made Huawei change their minds, though it’s probably not consumer feedback. Microsoft and perhaps more so Google, are probably not fans of such dual boot options. Indeed, Google has been fairly aggressive about blocking such attempts, even with proposed dual-boot Windows 8 machines.

Huawei's CEO

The idea of a phone that boots either into Android or Windows Phone on paper seems like geek’s dream, but in reality, it’s a pretty rash idea that will only appeal to niche audiences. Having to reboot your phone to do load one OS versus another would have a certain novelty effect, but having dual Stores and choosing which one is preferred is probably just too much choice for consumers. And while there are differences between Android and Windows Phone, those differences in the scheme of things are quite minimal when you consider basic functions that people are using their devices for these days.

Huawei isn’t the first company to claim they’re working on a dual boot phone. Recently announced Microsoft partner Karbonn, who makes low cost devices in India, also said they would pursue this twofold path. Asus as well for Windows 8.1 and Android, who also backed down.

Finally, let’s keep in mind that we’re dealing with firms who play loose and fast with their public relations. Saying things publicly only to deny them days later is a mistake by less professional companies, one that signifies attention getting. Because of that, we’re taking the view that until we see a dual boot phone, we won’t believe it. You should too.

Source: FierceWireless

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

109 Comments
  • This really shouldn't be a problem. MS ONLY needs to build high quality fun,productive, feature rich devices. Everyone knows MS tech is hard to beat. Give us what we want.
    Anyway I'm not sad about this, maybe other manufacturers but not Huawei. They're really fickle with their public announcements.
  • MS don't really build devices, they are more software.
  • I didn't say that. I said MSs' "technology", meaning software. Just come out with a Surface phone and a Surface Lumia with all current high end specs with some only Windows features and they will sell more. I'd never buy anything outside if MS/Nokia/HTC. Hope they come through.
  • You clearly did say that. Have you been drinking?
  • Technology is limited to hardware?
  • "MS ONLY needs to build high quality fun,productive, feature rich devices." I'm sure a device is limited to hardware.
  • LOL
  • They do build devices... or did you forget the various mouse and keyboard options they offer?  Or the Zune, Xbox One... Granted the Zune is discontiuned.
  • And the Surface ...
  • MS Software+NOKIA Hardware=Lumia!
  • And yet low end phones are the driving force behind WP right now.
  • ...and?
  • Sad that I have to explain this to you, but here goes...
    You said "MS ONLY needs to build high quality, fun, productive, feature rich devices."
    That describes high end devices, not devices like the Lumia 520 that is so popular.
    Do you understand what I was saying now?
  • To be honest, 520 is ages ahead of the low end android phones in the market in developing countries. MS should maintain the standard high quality requirements in my opinion, if only to keep its elitist image... Just like apple does. Or better, slash the licensing fees to a bare minimum, and see how people buy their phones. They're too expensive at present, that's why ms is getting hit.
  • WP high end phones aren't that compelling for most ppl outside of "us", that's why I said that. Talking about how popular low end devices are for MS is irrelevant to what I said.
  • Tangles, you're mincing words. I get your gist though. I'd love to see a Surface Phone, or a ThinkPhone, but its just nice to see other WPs out there.
  • The difference between the lowly 520 and the low-end Android is like night and day. There is no comparison because the 520 feels like premium while the low-end Android is not only lowly but it's also pure crap. The 520 is really a good phone to have and with it's lowly price, there's really nothing to complain about.
  • Yeah the exact words!One of the many difference is we get a internal storage of abt 6 gb on 520 for use and for paying 50$ more for a cheap Droid you only get abt 2 gb of internal storage(though app data gets stored on sd)!Just sayin!
  • Exactly. I'm glad there are going to be more entry-level low cost WPs out there. At the MetroPCS store near me, there's a $29.99 L521, no contract. More devices in more hands, means more developer support, means more and better apps. There will always be a need for high-end/flagship devices, but...... Its going to be the inexpensive stuff that makes the biggest impact as far as units and market share go.
  • I agree with you completely. I am quite tech saavy (Senior Systems Administrator at a major University), but am only interested in a cheap, high-quality cell phone that will run a few basic apps. My Lumia 521, with all of the Bing apps, is a dream come true for me :) I have a tablet and laptop to fill all of my other technology needs.
  • I think that's a much due to availability as it is price.
  • Why am I not surprised?
  • What is the compelling reason for having a dual-boot phone?
  • If this were the WP7.5 era I would probably say bring it on. But after WP8 came, I completely moved away from Android so for me, no compelling reason, none whatsoever. I don't intend to go back to Android and with WP8.1 around the corner, no intentions left at all.
  • I would like one. I love WP, but it would be nice to have the ability to run Android when I need to run missing apps.
  • *dances uncontrollably*
  • *joins him*
  • *beats you with a dildo *
  • *reports the assult*-> *does not pass go, or collect $200*
  • *feels sorry for the guy with broken dildo*
  • Back-pedaling*
  • LOL so you noticed that too. But shouldn't it really be "back-pedalling"?
  • If by chance Google is really pressuring OEMs to not do this, how is it different from what Microsoft got all the negative reputation from in the PC market back in the days?
  • Exactly! There's no difference.
  • The fact that it's back in the day.
  • You're bringing something that happened way back in the "middle ages". It's now the modern era.
  • I bet Google had something to do with this, just like with Asus!!
  • But Microsoft/Nokia can still produce a WP/NokiaX hybrid without worrying about Google pressure.  It uses MS services on the hybrid while anding more exposure to apps.  It also provides a upgrade path and a transition bridge for the Nokia x users.
  • *cough*Theoretically*cough*   :-)
  • They could because Nokia X uses AOSP Android which lacks GMS. Asus and Huawei were probably going to use the Google fork of Android which is why Google would have objected to it.
  • Lol, the more this dual-boot thing goes on, though it may have been fascinating initially, the more ridiculous it seems. It is not worth the while. It is best there were separate devices running either this or that.
  • I really dont care about it anyways and i can guarantee that the vast majority of people will choose android over vwindows phone if the had the option to which os they wanna boot in their phone...i admit that windows phone is a loooong way to go cause its always a bit far behind in terms of features and app quality , ironically, im still owning a windows phone lol
  • Google I see what you did there.
  • Really prefer WP8 but most (multiplayer) games that they play aren't in the marketplace so a dual boot phone seems as a good solution though...
  • This^
  • Who wants a Huawei device outside of China anyway?
    Poorly built, and then there's this...
    http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documen...(FINAL).pdf
  • how ironic..dont you think?:)
  • Nope. Unless you find it ironic that everyone spies on everyone.
    The difference is our economy isn't almost entirely based off of stealing intellectual property, physical designs, etc.
  • in my country in the other side of the world say if I get a huawei, I can go to Spain to a Real Madrid or Barcelona match... maybe some people will get it because of that :P.
    its like a blackmail but people like soccer here.
  • Thats easy to understand, as Football is better and more popular than NFL all over the world
  • Thank goodness! I hate Android.
  • I would get such a device and run WP 95% of the time. Then Android for that one particular app that WP lacks. Google knows this kind of device would hurt them.
  • +1
  • Blocked by google.
  • Source?
  • Hm, I while ago I read it somewhere that another company wanted to do it but Google didn't like the idea imso I guess its them this time as well. And lets face it, its google style.
  • An interesting reading: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/03/google-and-microsoft-are-out-to-stop-dual-boot-windowsandroid-devices/
  • Google, doing evil.
  • It was a dumb idea anyway.
  • I love the idea
  • You love dumb ideas?
  • lmao
  • Why is it dumb I can have WP that I love and the games of android
  • You would be rebooting the phone twice every time you wanted to play a game.
  • And?
  • Definitely google play their part in this. Nonetheless, I won't want a phone with dual boot, it just a waste of time and battery whenever you boot into a different OS, each boot give or take 1-2 minutes and probably 3-5% battery gone then plus the normal usage, don't think the phone will last for even half day.
  • I am glad. I hate android and if google is behind this block, then I really can't even be mad at them.
  • Same
  • GOOD!
  • Am I the only one who likes the idea of dual boot OS? :-/
  • I want it I like to play the field though
  • I really do not understand the point of a dualboot smartphone. Android/WP8. In my opinion WP8 is better, it only lacks apps, but thats matter of time.
    I definitely would not buy a dualboot smartphone buy, because I hate Android and I dont want to support it
  • I think it's a bad idea regardless of the platform.  It's pretty easy to see the consumer will end up with a device that is to complex for ordinary maintenance.  What happens in a situation where a driver/firmware needs to be updated to get android working correctly and now the Company has to test against WP and will likely have to update components on the WP side also.   Looks like a recipe for releasing a device that will never be updated to current OS releases.
  • After Android wear and the Moto 360 i wouldn't mind this at all. Fantastic stuff from google and i would sell my icon for the moto x and that amazing watch
  • Give me a virtual box on windows phone that containerizes android apps.
  • <This comment was removed due to it's dual-company subject> your's sincerelly, the Google Team
  • Just curious, does the CEO of Huawei uses a Huawei mobile? They are not that, uhm "good" devices tbh
  • It seems most of the phones slated for dual boot are lower end devices. Here's a novel idea: just stop with the dual boot thing already. Instead of blowing time, effort, and money on a feature almost no one will use (and will likely be killed before the devices see the light of day anyway), how about using that time, effort, and cash to up the usuable hardware specs a notch or two?
  • *after pressure from Google* "Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google." -- Steve Ballmer
  • Glad they cancelled this terrible idea.
  • All I care about right now is... April 4th. Bring it!
  • Fk dual boot.... Its time for blue
  • Bing it on....
  • Google probably put on the pressure asserting that such a device would be a violation of a Google certified device, and threatened to restrict Huewai from Google Play.
  • I wish this had taken off. I'd like to be able to get a Galaxy Note 2 or HTC One and choose between Android or WP8. More hardware options is a good thing.
  • Oh Google, you're such a child sometimes.* * That is, all of the time
  • This is both of them
  • IM not surprised
  • Ms can forget about to use dual os to lure users from android, rather, they should focus on creating nokia X and giving away wp license to get more sales.
  • I think it is the sensible thing to do. Otherwise the device would have been answer to a question that nobody asked
  • i said fast forward two months and they will back track they didnt even wait two weeks
  • Thought google and ms were putting the kibosh on dual os phones? Wasn't there am article doing the rounds, last week ???
  • lol, the more evil Google the more I hate him and the smaller chance that I will buy anythhing with Android in my life is now: 0,000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent :-) Fck you Google ! I never liked your products and services except search Apple and MS for ever ! 
  • Guess you don't use youtube
  • That last paragraph reminded me of the Titanfall 360 issue.
  • I think this will pop up when and if windows 8 beats googles android then they probably wouldn't mind running android on windows devices......
  • Not surprised. I'm ready to bet that BOTH Microsoft and Google are actively working together to prevent these dual-OS machines (either tablet or smartphones) from happening. This is something that would only benefit the consumer. And guess what? Neither Microsoft nor Google are in the game of making consumers happy. They're in the game of making money. ;)
  • What a douce bag comment even from you! Nokia name notwithstanding, people will never buy WP if they're unhappy with the OS but people are slowly buying into the platform because word-of-mouth from existing users tell them to buy it. Android would never have dominated the mobile smartphone world if Android displeased the users. Happy consumers are what gives Microsoft and Google own the money they now have.
  • It would only get a decent amount of attention if Nokia made such a device but now it's clear to us that it won't happen at least in the near future.
  • Starting think Google feels GMS Android is not remotely close to wp when it comes to efficiency of the o/s as consumers will make comparisons as it would be easier to do so with a dual boot phone as both o/ses will be running on the same specs. Furthermore with forked android, Google is the one that looses the most.
  • Good news, as far as im concerned.
  • Imagine ios and windows phone together! But apple will never approve of this.
  • just pay them to get it in. let google try and stop that.
  • everybody knows WP8 still at least 2 years behind Android and iOS.  
  • Just "at least 2 years behind"? Not a problem because you're talking features and that's easy to catch up with. Android, on the other hand, will NEVER EVER, as in FOREVER, catch up on the fluidity of WP8 because it will forever lag - they might as well call it Forever Lagdroid for that's what it really is.
  • YAY!
  • Daniel can you tell how much % people visit wpcentral from India?
  • Doesn't huawei make low and mid range devices only, cause I don't think it was gonna be any good a cheap dual os smartphone it'll be on low memory all the time and a new kind of lag fest. That's my opinion feel free to comment.
  • to be honest dual boot is a weird thing. Did anyone wondered how the file system would look, would files under android be visible in windows and viceversa, it would be a mess, and lets not start talking about the security issues. However, I would like to see a device that can be flashed either with Windows or Android (the same device), not dual boot, but the OS of your choice (from factory perhaps), now that would be truly nice. What do you say guys?