Android as we know it has always been a mobile platform, designed for smartphones originally, then moved on to large slab form factors alongside the release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It now appears that there is a chance the platform can be made into a full-on desktop operating system. Some success has been evident from previous efforts in using the platform as a desktop operating system. The Lenovo A10 is a prime example of what Android can become, but to achieve desktop OS status, a lot of work still remains.
Mobile devices powering Android are currently owned by the ARM architecture, which provides decent processing power with low power consumption. Meanwhile desktop platforms such as Windows, OS X and Linux are still mostly ran by Intel’s x8s architecture. There is a recent development from Intel that suggests the chipmaker is keen on making Android for desktop devices a reality.
A platform roadmap was obtained by Chinese website VR Zone from sources close to Intel. It is reported that Intel is testing Android heavily on its Haswell U and Y series chipsets. Sources say the testing has involved Android 4.2 Jelly Bean UEFI BIOS, running Linux a 64 bit 3.9 kernel. The report may shed some light on when we may see Android in a desktop environment and if all holds true, 2015 may be the year we see the first build of a ready-to-use Android desktop operating system.
How Android will fair as a standalone desktop OS is anyone’s guess. Developers will have to make adjustments to its user experience to convince the consumer market it needs a desktop version of Android. Intel reportedly has thousands of engineers working closely with Google in improving any compatibility issues between Android and its upcoming Braswell platform.
What does this mean for mobile platforms and their chipset suppliers? Lets just say the mobile and desktop landscape is going to change drastically in the next few years. Smartphones, tablets and desktops will be running at such astonishing speeds, the average consumer will take it for granted. Being someone who owned a 286 and 386 desktop PC today’s processing power is simply amazing.