Android and Windows, Sitting in a Tree?

Good ol' dubious Digitimes. While your penchant for hit-or-miss reporting may be frustrating at times, at least you constantly provide fodder for the never-ending rumor mill that brings the tech world hours of edge-of-your-seat entertainment and imaginative speculation.

The latest round involves a potential launch time frame for Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android 5.0, the next major version of its wildly popular mobile operating system. Continuing Android's donning of delectable dessert descriptions, this one will continue to proceed through the alphabet with "Jelly Bean" (will the next be "Key Lime Pie"?). The upgrade is said to integrate functions from its Chrome netbook operating system.

Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) next big upgrade, Windows 8, is expected sometime in the latter end of the year, potentially in the third quarter. Windows 8 will have a heavy focus on mobility, as it will run on tablets and draws much inspiration from Mr. Softy's Windows Phone mobile OS. Digitimes believes that Big G will try to coax gadget makers into loading up Android 5.0 and Windows 8 onto the same tablet PCs, offering users the choice to run either OS at will.

The timeframe is somewhat believable; Google unveiled Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, at its I/O conference in the second quarter of last year, although it wasn't launched until October. Ice Cream Sandwich adoption has been somewhat slow, with hardware fragmentation being the primary culprit of rollout delays.

Google soon-to-be subsidiary Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) just outlined its Android 4.0 upgrade schedule and it's shockingly staggered, "in evaluation," and just plain slow considering Big G is about to swallow the hardware maker. Many of the devices that are set to receive Ice Cream Sandwich aren't even scheduled to be upgraded until the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) should be hard at work on iOS 6, which, presumably, will be released into the wild alongside this year's iPhone (5? 6? 4SS?) model later in the year.

The publication says that the search giant wants to penetrate the notebook and netbook market with Android 5.0, which doesn't make much sense, since Google already has a netbook OS with Chrome. It's even less clear why Google would want OEMs to load its OS alongside Windows.

A Q2 announcement is a distinct possibility, with Google I/O scheduled for late June this year. A full-scale launch doesn't stack up, and neither does the dual-OS prediction.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft; creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft; and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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