In 2013, Microsoft shut down attempts to switch between Windows 8 and Android, but move on two years and the company has made a full 180. It is now working with manufacturers who plan to build tablets running both Windows 10 and Android 5.0.
The change in character is in part due to Satya Nadella’s leadership, which doesn’t seem to value Windows as much as Steve Ballmer did. Instead, Nadella wants to influence Android customers to Windows by making it extremely easy to switch OS.
Microsoft has already started a program in China with Xiaomi adding Windows 10 Mobile to Android devices, and it is doing the same in the tablet world. Chinese manufacturer Teclast has launched a range of Windows 10-Android 5.0 tablets.
Having the ability to move between Windows 10 and Android 5.0 is useful, if it manages to switch OSes without taking ages. Android has more social apps, but Windows 10 is a far better platform for productivity and professional apps.
Only Chinese manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon so far, even though ASUS showed interest in building an OS swapper in 2013. We expect other smaller tablet manufacturers start importing both platforms in the near future to tablets.
Samsung, LG and Sony are unlikely to join in, at least in 2015. Having both platforms seems to be a big advantage to Microsoft, who desperately wants more tablet users.
Microsoft’s next tablet, the Surface Pro 4, will run Windows 10 only. We doubt Microsoft is going to return the favour and add Android 5.0 onto the tablet.