Asus considering Windows Phone 8 and Windows Padfone hybrid

News Paul Briden 10:33, 17 Jan 2013

An Asus executive has revealed the company's interest in Windows Phone 8 and the possibility of a Windows-based Padfone

Asus is considering the development of Windows Phone 8 handsets and is even thinking about making a Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 Padfone-style hybrid device.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, corporate vice president of Asus mobile products Benson Lin said the company was ‘interested in making Windows Phones.’

On the subject of a Windows-based Padfone, Lin said: ‘I think it makes sense for Windows 8.’

Logically that’s quite true, we’ve said as much before, but from a practical perspective there are a few issues Asus would have to deal with.

The WSJ reports that Asus is actively in talks with Microsoft over licensing deals and presumably this would also include negotiating product implementation.

Microsoft, at present, has a very clear set of requirements for OEMs wanting to create Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 hardware and the two platforms, while sharing the same kernel, don’t exactly meet in the middle.

Right now, a Windows Padfone couldn’t work in exactly the same way as its Android equivalent, which has all the hardware and software inside the phone handset and simply blows it up to tablet size when docked. This works because there's very little difference between the tablet and smartphone implementation of Android.

Microsoft’s requirements don’t allow for a tablet sized Windows Phone 8 device or even a larger ‘phablet’ sized smartphone device running Windows 8. A dual-boot device is a possibility, but a rather convoluted approach.

However, Microsoft is expected to launch an update called Windows Blue around the middle of the year which will allegedly open up the possibility of smaller tablets (think 7-inch devices, for the most part) and will introduce more crossover capability with Windows Phone 8.

It's possible this update will allow for a Padfone style device.

It seems like a reasonable idea that Microsoft would be prepared to already start negotiating with Asus focusing on Windows Blue in order to make a Windows Padfone happen.

We’ll bring you more as we hear it.

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