A couple weeks ago Digitimes broke the news that Google was leaning on Asus:
Asustek is likely to be forced to give up plans to launch its dual-OS notebook, the Transformer Book Duet TD300, due to resistance from Google, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.
I read about the rumor a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t cover the story because Digitimes is simply not a credible source. They’ve been wrong too often. Sure, this latest rumor is plausible and Google has exerted this kind of pressure in the past, but that doesn’t mean that this rumor is true.
But then Digitimes repeated the rumor today, and I thought it worth a comment. I still don’t find this plausible:
Intel and Asustek Computer released dual OS tablets at CES 2014 that combine Windows and Android operating systems into one unit in an attempt to tackle a new segment in the tablet market. However, due to pressure from Google, Asustek has postponed plans to release its TD300 tablet that was presented at CES 2014. Digitimes Research believes dual system devices benefit Intel, PC vendors and Microsoft while Google will get the brunt of such developments due to a possible increase in the Windows penetration rate.
The idea behind the rumor is that Google is using their control of Google Play and Android device certification to pressure Asus. If Asus doesn’t comply with Google’s request to drop the dual-boot device, none of Asus’s other Android gadgets will get certified – or so the rumor goes.
While that sounds plausible and it matchs with what Google has done before, there’s a problem with it. No one has corroborated the story.
“Google Throws Its Weight Around” would be a major tech story if it were true, and everyone would have covered it. But a brief check of Google search results tells me that hardly anyone has, and the only stories I can find were all sourced from Digitimes.
Frankly, this is a rumor which can be ignored until it’s confirmed by Asus.