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posted by janrinok on Friday March 14 2014, @05:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the is-that-the-sound-of-desperation-that-I-hear dept.

skullz writes:

"Hot on the heels of Microsoft easing up access to the Windows Phone OS are rumors of dual Windows / Android phones, able to boot into either OS.

The narrative so far is Android for personal use, Windows for BYOD to the office. I can see a company locking down a Windows Phone install so it can connect to Exchange and the company wifi but what would the two OSs share? Contacts and pictures? Would a bit of malware on one OS be isolated from the other?

It used to be that you would dual boot your Windows box with Linux, now that trend has reversed itself for your mobile. How far we have come."

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  • (Score: 2) by snick on Friday March 14 2014, @05:44PM

    by snick (1408) on Friday March 14 2014, @05:44PM (#16529)

    As someone who long ago gave up on dual boot on the laptop, I have to say this is a terrible idea.

    With a dual boot system you are constantly faced with "I need to reboot to do that." It is hopelessly frustrating.

    Now, if they could run something like VMWare on the phone, and multiple OS instances (one for work, one for play) simultaneously I'm interested. Though I suspect that if it were attempted, the phone would burst into flames.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday March 14 2014, @06:18PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:18PM (#16549) Homepage

      Care to share why you "gave up" dual-booting on a laptop? And if you ever found a replacement situation that works for you? And what did you do that was so critical that you had to switch OS's immediately and couldn't wait the 60 or so seconds to shut down and reboot? Not trying to be a smartass, genuinely curious.

      Sure, rebooting is inconvenient, but it beats the hell out of lugging around 2 devices or having to restart your work after your VM bugs out because it can't handle your high-performance Windows software.

      Hell, I dual-booted on my ancient Dell laptop (Windows for pirated^W audio recording software and soft synths, Linux for everything else) and encountered no complications right up until the laptop died.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by dast on Friday March 14 2014, @06:28PM

        by dast (1633) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:28PM (#16553)

        I think he did say why. VMWare. Windows XP and 7 both run pretty well under a Linux host OS. I was able to ditch my Windows partition on my development workstation, even though I was contracting for a client who worked only in Windows (embedded work with Windows Mobile). I actually used VirtualBox, as it supported all of the various, esoteric hardware I had to use. It was a beautiful setup. No need to dual boot anymore...

      • (Score: 2) by snick on Friday March 14 2014, @08:42PM

        by snick (1408) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:42PM (#16620)

        Care to share why you "gave up" dual-booting on a laptop?

        The fact that _all_ solutions for cross filesystem access drooled on themselves as soon as I had to deal with files larger than 2G.

        Right now I'm running a Mac with a Windows 8 VM that has access to the host FS (don't ask)

        Switching OS is a simple matter of switching in and out of the VM, so when tasks come up where I have to be here or there I can go back and forth in a second. And yeah I know that this loads my box more heavily than dual boot, but the time it saves over the lifetime of the laptop justifies the cost of the beefier system needed to support it.

    • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Friday March 14 2014, @06:27PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:27PM (#16551)

      I read another comment on some site that I agree with, It's probably so MS can count phones that have Android, as a dual boot option, as Win phones to boost their adoption numbers. Basically it's like selling PCs with windows pre-installed, you count it as a windows sale whether the user goes home and immediately formats it or not.

      Basically, it'll look better on their quarterly report and make them feel like they're winning a losing battle.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 1) by dast on Friday March 14 2014, @06:33PM

        by dast (1633) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:33PM (#16557)

        The only reason I could see having a dual boot phone with Windows would be if my employer only supported Win Mobile phones on their infrastructure, but I wanted to use Android at home. At that point though, I'd just carry two phones. Why infect a perfectly good android phone with Win Mobile?

        • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Friday March 14 2014, @06:42PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:42PM (#16563)

          Blackberry already has that functionality for the enterprise BYOD space. I know BB isn't doing well lately, but to my knowledge they're still top dog for Government and Business because of that.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @06:48PM

      by frojack (1554) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:48PM (#16566) Journal

      Agreed, the disruption of dual boot on a computer is just too much of a pain in the rear to deal with.
      Anyone who says they do this routinely is either new to it, and still wowed by the novelty, or just plain delusional.

      If you don't boot into each OS frequently, you spend the first 20 minutes applying patches, then another 5 rebooting.
      If you frequently NEED switch back and forth you end up needing things that are on the other OS. Shut down, reboot, rinse repeat.
      That gets to be so frequent you end up mounting windows partitions under Linux, only to find the
      you've corrupted the file system, or created incompatible files.
      You never know where you mail is, unless you use web mail or an IMAP server.
      Your partitioning scheme quickly reveals itself to have been a bad choice.
      Any though of backup goes out the window, because you now need to do it twice.
      Then you find out that one OS nukes the other upon install.
      Then Microsoft becomes so alarmed at dual booting that they invent UEFI simply to make it harder, and you can scarcely find a machine without it.

      As soon as Virtual Machine technology became viable every intelligent person dumped dual boot, and installed their secondary OS in a virtual machine. The smart ones boot into Linux, and add windows as a VM, and run Samba on the Linux side to provide disk storage for bulk file storage to the windows virtual machine, making those files safely available in both host and guest.
      One click launches the secondary OS in a window, while you continue to work in the host OS.

      The only down side of VM technology, is how seductive it is.
      Pretty soon, you find yourself installing OpenBSD in another VM, maybe a couple other Linux distros, and pretty soon you figure out you've learned a whole lot in a painless way, and never put your machine at risk.
      And backup of a VM happens like every other file.

      THAT BEING SAID: Dual boot might actually work on a phone.
      But why? If your employer wants you to have a phone on their network, have them buy you one.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 14 2014, @08:20PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:20PM (#16614)

        If you frequently NEED switch back and forth you end up needing things that are on the other OS. Shut down, reboot, rinse repeat.
        That gets to be so frequent you end up mounting windows partitions under Linux, only to find the you've corrupted the file system, or created incompatible files.

        I have a triple-boot Windows 7, XP, and Xubuntu setup. I keep the majority of my files that I want to get at on an NTFS partition. This works perfectly fine and without corruption (well, except for line endings, obviously, but just open the file in Wordpad and save.) The closest I've come to FS corruption is when I occasionally resize a Windows partition or the big NTFS file store partition, then the next time I boot Windows, it runs the CHKDSK equivalent on the part and says everything's fine.

        Your partitioning scheme quickly reveals itself to have been a bad choice.

        Well...it depends. Your first time or two, yeah, probably. I have a setup I'm satisfied with, although I'll admit it's a wee bit convoluted. There's supposedly ext3 (and reiser?) drivers for Windows, but I found the easier way is to put any data I want to get at from both systems on NTFS. For any partitions I don't *want* Windows to see (the Linux install), I use whatever Linux filesystem as applicable.

        Any though of backup goes out the window, because you now need to do it twice.

        I'm not quite sure what you mean by this...with the right FS types (as above) I don't see why it would be a problem.

        Then you find out that one OS nukes the other upon install.

        Windows nukes the MBR, sure. And GRUB2 is a lot harder to fix that with than legacy GRUB, sadly. So you just make sure to install the Linux system last, or dd the MBR somewhere and restore it after the Windows install via live CD. But other than that, there shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't say to use the entire disk during the install procedure, even for Windows.

        Although granted, I would never recommend a newbie try setting up a dual boot on their own. That's just a recipe for disaster, but after my first 2 or 3 times I haven't had much trouble.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 14 2014, @08:25PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:25PM (#16615)

        Anyone who says they do this routinely is either new to it, and still wowed by the novelty, or just plain delusional.

        Rather needlessly confrontational and dismissive. I've been dual*-booting since 2008 or so, and the novelty has mostly worn off; now I like having a stable system I can configure how I want. Unfortunately, the classic reasons apply:

        1) I have a few productive programs, and a number of games, that I can only run properly in Windows.
        2) Windows is insane (interface-wise) lately so for everything other than the aforementioned programs, I boot Linux.

        And I REALLY don't feel like trying to run Civ IV in VirtualBox...my box is hardly beefy to begin with :)

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @09:57PM

          by frojack (1554) on Friday March 14 2014, @09:57PM (#16647) Journal

          Rather needlessly confrontational and dismissive.

          True enough. My bad. I could have worded it better.

          Still, your post [soylentnews.org] above the parent is a classic case of "Thanks for Proving My Point":

          That's just a recipe for disaster, but after my first 2 or 3 times I haven't had much trouble.

          Priceless! ;-)

          Its clear you do it because you can, not because you need to, and not because its efficient, or even practical. Same reason I run my own mail server, DNS server, FTP server, time server, etc. Its ok for me, but I wouldn't suggest it to anyone I want to remain friends with.

          And if you game a lot, when using Virtual Machines, you are well advised to choose your Host machine OS based on your gaming needs. Having said that, With VMware Workstation (not player), I can open a windows VM under my Linux Host, pop it into exclusive mode and still be competitive at some first person shooters. (Pro tip: bridge your nick - never nat, and buy some ram).

          But for the average person with a typical need of a second OS, (Windows or Linux), a Virtual machine is the easiest, safest, and most trouble free way to go, because as the replies to this thread have indicated getting Dual Boot to work is a never ending PITA, and breakage is right around the corner.

          Also, for mounting NTFS partitions in Linux, MOST of the problems have been solved and its ALMOST safe to do so, even read-write.

          But for years I have been using Paragon [paragon-software.com] (free version) which allows me to do this when necessary (rare), usually to work with an external disks shared with windows machines.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by snick on Friday March 14 2014, @08:50PM

        by snick (1408) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:50PM (#16623)

        Once upon a time I had a dual boot linux windows system where I cross mounted the file systems, and configured it so that I could launch the Windows partition under VMWare when linux was running. (required 2 Windows HW configurations: 1 for booting the native to Windows and 1 for booting it under VMWare)

        It was fiddley as all hell, but it actually did work. I just had to remember to unmount the windows partition from the filesystem before booting it as a VM or hilarity would ensue.

        I probably threw away as much time setting that up and walking the tightrope as I did fooling with wine.

      • (Score: 2) by umafuckitt on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:48AM

        by umafuckitt (20) on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:48AM (#16709)

        Anyone who says they do this routinely is either new to it, and still wowed by the novelty, or just plain delusional.

        Or they have some hardware-related reason for doing it. For instance, I set up a Linux/Win7 dual boot machine for working with National Instruments data acquisition cards on Windows. When I'm not doing that stuff I'm in Linux.

    • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:38AM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:38AM (#16748) Journal

      Well, last time I heard of someone doing that [umpcportal.com], the device didn't burst into flames. Of course, it was an N800, not a phone.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @05:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @05:45PM (#16530)

    Huh? How can it be a trend with no shipping products?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dotdotdot on Friday March 14 2014, @06:30PM

    by dotdotdot (858) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:30PM (#16556)

    According to Ars [arstechnica.com] (providing their link since their source is behind paywall) "Microsoft and Google are both out to stifle any device that doesn't have a firm allegiance to either Android or Windows."

  • (Score: 1) by joekiser on Friday March 14 2014, @06:46PM

    by joekiser (1837) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:46PM (#16565)

    Talk about a feature nobody asked for...

    I assume that the only thing shared will be the contacts (SIM Card) and whatever's saved on the SD card (music, pictures, videos).

    Oh yeah, since I'm here, bring back physical QWERTY devices please.

    --
    Debt is the currency of slaves.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by n1 on Friday March 14 2014, @06:52PM

      by n1 (993) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:52PM (#16567) Journal

      I couldn't agree more, bring back physical QWERTY. I cant be the only person so frustrated at the non-existent nature of such phones. For people in the US, you're lucky to have some market specific phones which do have a QWERTY even if they aren't that great. The 'Droid' series from Motorola and the Samsung Galaxy S Relay are not available in other markets. There are a couple of others too which are not available here (Europe).

      There are literally zero options in the UK if you want an Android with a physical keyboard. I have about the last/only physical keyboard android they sold in the UK, Samsung Galaxy Y Pro (800mhz cpu, 180mb internal storage, Android2.3) which is crap, but better than not having a physical keyboard.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @06:54PM

      by frojack (1554) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:54PM (#16568) Journal

      Someone still stores contacts on a Sim card?
      Come on Joe, its not 1998 anymore. Most phones don't even support that, other than for import.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1) by n1 on Friday March 14 2014, @07:34PM

        by n1 (993) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:34PM (#16592) Journal

        I store mine on SIM+Phone because I assume my phone isn't going to last forever, and it should mean I just get to put the SIM in my next phone and i wont have to fuck around with the contacts, or try and extract the data.

        Now i'm sure there are numerous 'smart' ways of storing your contacts which will allow syncing across all your devices. That just seems unnecessary when I only have one phone and storing on SIM should make it transferable and painless when i replace.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @07:47PM

          by frojack (1554) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:47PM (#16598) Journal

          But when you lose your phone, your sim goes with it.

          And when you get a new phone, your old sim isn't going to be the right one for the new phone.
          Your carrier MIGHT offer to copy them to the new SIM, but most have dropped this service because its too hard to keep up with, and most new phones don't even offer to store on the sim any more.

          The new way, (I'm sure you knew this), is to sync your contacts with "the cloud", either on Google Contacts [google.com] or iCloud, or a couple dozen other similar third party services via Apps.

          And, yeah, I fully understand that some people don't like Google or Apple, or Microsoft or Blackberry or their Carrier to have a list of their contacts. You only have to lose all your contacts ONCE to realize the privacy you gain by sim storage is an illusion and not worth the effort. But it is clearly up to you.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by joekiser on Friday March 14 2014, @08:09PM

            by joekiser (1837) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:09PM (#16610)
            And, yeah, I fully understand that some people don't like Google or Apple, or Microsoft or Blackberry or their Carrier to have a list of their contacts. You only have to lose all your contacts ONCE to realize the privacy you gain by sim storage is an illusion and not worth the effort. But it is clearly up to you.

            The privacy element goes out the window when all of your contacts are using Google / Apple devices and have you in the cloud anyway. I'm sure it is trivial to compile a fairly accurate contact list using this information.
            I didn't realize that SIM cards are no longer used to store contacts...I've been on dumbphones for too long, and when I got my Blackberry, I couldn't find the feature.
            --
            Debt is the currency of slaves.
          • (Score: 1) by n1 on Friday March 14 2014, @08:19PM

            by n1 (993) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:19PM (#16613) Journal

            You are totally correct, should I lose my phone then I have no way of retrieving my phone book, that is indeed a serious issue which I should seek to resolve.

            Your experience may be different, being in the US I assume. My sim and phone are not tied to each other, my carrier only provides my SIM. I buy my phones outright and make sure they're unlocked, as such I don't get the latest due to inflated prices of the current generations. I accept most people don't do it this way, but it is at least an option (in the UK) which I have taken up. For me, having a phone that is a year or two out of date, is worth not being signed up to a 2-3 year contract with less service than I currently have now ($25/pm 500minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data - rolling/no contract). I lose out on having 'the best' phone, but i get some freedom.

            I am very much behind the times on this so my new phone may not enable me to use the SIM, so your original 1998 comment wasn't misplaced. Things are changing in ways I don't appreciate, but I will have to adapt and some kind of 'sync' will be inevitable.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bart9h on Friday March 14 2014, @07:01PM

      by bart9h (767) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:01PM (#16570)

      What I wanted back was phones that are not ginormous. S3mini is about the only decent phone not larger than 4".

  • (Score: 2) by Jaruzel on Friday March 14 2014, @08:10PM

    by Jaruzel (812) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:10PM (#16611) Homepage Journal

    I don't get this?

    As of Jelly Bean, Android can connect to Exchange ActiveSync (for Mail, Calender, Contacts, and Tasks) AND honour all the admin restrictions (such as remote wipe, encryption, and forced pin etc.) that the Exchange Admin cares to enforce*.

    There is no technical requirement to use a Windows Phone to access your Corporate MS based data, which is one of the reasons that Corporates are NOT taking up Windows Phone in droves, there's simply no need.

    So, I really can't see the driver for an OS-dual-boot phone - the BYOD argument doesn't stand up.

    Unless, and I've just thought of this - people don't want to have work AND private data on the same device - which I'm not sure dual-boot solves anyway because I can see a lot of Corporates having a soft policy that discourages the private use of a business device.

    (I work for a Corporate, in IT, and have been very close to the BYOD initiatives, and the mobile data rollouts, so the above is bit more than just an opinion.)

    -Jar

    *Also it must be said for completeness, that iOS fully supports Exchange ActiveSync as well.

    --
    This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Saturday March 15 2014, @10:59PM

      by isostatic (365) on Saturday March 15 2014, @10:59PM (#16987) Journal

      Ios has done all that active sync for years.

      We have an mdm to manage devices (ios and mac), push out software, update mail settings, update VPN connections etc.

      Microsoft should have bought out rim 5 years ago. Nobody wants windows on their phones

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Subsentient on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:45AM

    by Subsentient (1111) on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:45AM (#16749) Homepage Journal

    Let's hear the Android lovers say stupid shit like 'Android is all you need, because don't you know, Android is FOSS, and Google is your friend!'.

    Ignoring the fact that Android is ushering in the era where you can't boot anything but Android. How pro-freedom that is.

    I've heard people actually try to bury this argument with 'You can run any OS you want as long as it's some flavor of Android'. That's like saying you can like any color as long as it is some shade of green.

    I don't care if the kernels will support anything, I don't care if there's no touch support, I want to be able to boot any ARM OS I want to, or it's not a computer.
    I must be permitted to TRY to boot it!

    You are all giving up your freedoms, and apparently you don't mind. If people tried this shit on PCs you'd be epileptic. This article is proof of my point, as if being CAPABLE of booting two different OSes is some massive achievement.

    Tablets and Smartphones are evil, mostly for this reason.

    --
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • (Score: 1) by aristarchus on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:09AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:09AM (#16754) Journal

      So what you are saying is: "Freedom is not Free"?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:07PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:07PM (#16814) Homepage Journal

      Er, have you ever actually looked at Google's fastboot oem unlock?

      When the device is jailbroken/S-OFF/unlocked, you gain full control of the boot chain post-bootloader, and can run non-Android operating systems. The bootloader requires signed binaries to be reflashed in what I assume is an effort to prevent people from bricking their devices, but nothing prevents you from chainloading bootloaders (Debian for the NSLU2 is a RL example of that methodology; boots RedBoot into APEX). I ran a fullblown Ubuntu instance for a lark on my Nexus One (to prove the concept), and you can reflash qutie a few Android phones with Ubuntu Phone (Galaxy Nexus/Nexus 4 officially supported last time I checked; semi-support for Nexus 5).

      There's absolutely nothing you from preventing a different kernel or full blown operating system if you care to port it. The biggest problem is ARM (AArch32, 64-bit is a bit different) doesn't have a standardized boot interface which means every single device requires a modified kernel for it.

      Say what you will about Google, but this is one area where they do it right.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by Subsentient on Monday March 17 2014, @10:59AM

        by Subsentient (1111) on Monday March 17 2014, @10:59AM (#17507) Homepage Journal

        Nexus phones and tablets are usually what I explicitly exclude from "show me a working tablet/phone with Linux" arguments, because they are pretty much the only ones out there that permit what you describe. I get people saying this all the time, and I always tell them "Find me something non-nexus, modern, and mainstream, and try that again."

        --
        "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti