Microsoft denies it is blocking dual-boot Windows/Android devices

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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has denied reports that it is attempting to block devices that dual-boot into Google's rival Android operating system.

Reports have been circulating for some time that both Microsoft and Google have expressed reservations about dual-boot devices, with the Wall Street Journal having reported this weekend that Asus has been forced to drop plans for the Transformer Duet, the Windows and Android hybrid machine that premiered at this year's consumer electronics show CES.

However, in a statement sent to The INQUIRER, a spokesman for Microsoft denied that it is kicking off about dual-boot devices.

They said, "Our policies have not changed, Microsoft will continue to invest with OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to promote best-in-class OEM and Microsoft experiences to our joint customers."

With Android and Windows now vying for market share, the stakes are high for both operating systems if OEMs manage to integrate the two without locking customers into either one.

This year was already shaping up to be the year of the dual-boot device, with Huawei expected to launch hybrid Windows Phone and Android smartphones later in 2014 and rumours appearing about products from several other manufacturers. However, Google might be unhappy about Android appearing in desktop devices rather than its browser based Chrome OS.

Meanwhile Microsoft seems keen to bring as many people as possible to its proprietary software, with plans for a free to OEM Bing Edition of its flagship Windows 8.1 operating system, and reductions in the licensing costs of Windows Phone and Windows RT.

We've also asked Asus and Google for their takes on the situation, but at time of writing they had not responded. µ

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