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Console OS will let you run Android on a Windows PC or tablet

Sharif Sakr

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Toggling between Windows and Android on a single device? That sounds desirable enough maybe, especially the way Intel describes it, but the quest for a practical mixture of green and blue has had its hiccups. (And that's putting it mildly.) A new project has just arrived on Kickstarter, however, which takes a slightly different tack. It's called Console OS, and it's based on the premise that easy-to-use dual OS's don't need to be baked in at the factory. Currently under development by the same people who brought us the similarly-themed, this fork of Android 4.4 is designed to run as either a secondary or standalone OS. It claims to be equally at home in touch-based or mouse n' keyboard environments, with compatibility promised for a bunch of recent devices (including Dell's Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo's Miix 2 and Intel's NUC). What's more, since Console OS runs natively on Intel's x86 architecture, it also promises better performance than any virtualized or emulated solution.

None of this is especially easy to swallow without hard evidence, of course. Mainstream Android devs barely pay much attention to Intel's chips, let alone to niche Android forks, so the performance and stability of Android apps and games remains to be seen. A significant time delay in switching between OS's could also be an issue, even though Console OS is supposed to keep the wait down to just 10 seconds. In any case, the risks of investing in this project aren't huge: a $10 contribution will get you a copy of the Pro version of the software, which allows unlimited windowed Android apps (running inside the Console OS interface, not Windows), faster OS switching and free upgrades for life. Paying more will buy you a greater say over which devices will be supported when the finished article arrives in December. Check out the Kickstarter page for more.

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