Acer to Offer MS Windows and Linux on Netbooks

Dennis Faas's picture

Acer has confirmed it will include both Windows and Google Android operating systems on all its future dual-core netbooks. While the idea of a twin-system machine isn't new, this represents the biggest commitment yet by a manufacturer to the concept.

While many end users employ Linux and Windows together, relatively few manufacturers offer both on a machine fresh out of the box. That's understandable: the logic goes that most people who'd be happy to use Linux install it themselves or opt for a Linux-only machine rather than pay for a more expensive Windows model.

Acer has offered a range of netbooks running either system, but has also launched two previous models that have both installed. Users can automatically switch from Android to Windows by clicking a button, though must reboot the machine to go back to Android. (Source:

Linux Instant-On Option Attractive

Rather than use the traditional selling points of open source systems (lower cost, more secure, more flexibility), Acer promoted the Android system on these machines as a measure of convenience: while users had Windows for "full-blown computing", they could use Android when they wanted to quickly check email or a website and didn't want to wait for the full Windows boot process.

Dual-Core Power Brought to Netbooks

Acer's dual-OS machines will have processor chips set up in a way that run as if there were two processors, meaning the machine can carry out two actions at the same split second.

The main advantage of this is that it allows a computer to run a processor-intensive task such as converting video footage or compressing files, but still be able to carry out other functions without a delay. Although dual-core systems are virtually standard on desktop PCs, they are still relatively high-end in the netbook market.

Acer's thinking is said to be that adding Android to a machine costs very little (there's no license fee, so it's merely logistical costs), and this cost is outweighed by the additional benefit to consumers. (Source:

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