With the Gemini PDA being so focused on productivity it would seem natural to have Windows 10 running on the device. Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Teams are highly polished, and as integration with both Google’s Android operating system, and the Gemini itself works well, you would expect these apps to work equally well under Windows 10 on the Gemini.
Not everything is that simple however; while Windows 10 itself is now a mature operating system on the desktop, on the ARM designed chips that Android devices predominantly run on, it’s still in development and the first Windows on ARM (WoA) ultrabooks only began appearing at the beginning of 2018.
As things stand when I write this article (July 2018) WoA only supports the Snapdragon 835 and 845 processors, and Microsoft are working hard to stabilise the platform before building in support for additional processors and System on Chip (SoC) silicon.
It’s rumoured however that Microsoft will be releasing new WoA devices this autumn in their Surface range. While this is probably true, it’s certain that the MediaTek chips used in the Gemini PDA wouldn’t be included. Microsoft’s Surface devices are intended to showcase the very best products that Microsoft hardware partners can produce. The upshot of this is that they always include top-end hardware, and are priced to match.
But, you might say, there’s also speculation about a low-end Surface for this autumn. That would certainly run on either the Snapdragon 845 processor, or the new Snapdragon 850 processor with WoA support. Microsoft have a close working relationship with Qualcomm in developing WoA, which is another aspect of the operating system’s development that won’t be changing quickly.
Overall Microsoft move very slowly and deliberately when developing products of this nature. They like to take their time, because they know how critical it is to get things right. This means when it comes to development of the Gemini v2 that Planet Computers would have to make the jump to a WoA-compatible hardware platform, and this is something that would immediately add a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of manufacturing each device, not to mention a wholesale redesign of the underlying Gemini hardware.
So will a Gemini PDA running Windows 10 ever see the light of day? Who knows. The author of this very article is working closely with both Planet Computers and Microsoft to try and make it happen. It won’t be something that comes around soon however, so for now we’re going to have to stick with Windows 10 running in a virtual Machine such as Microsoft’s Azure service (pictured), or by connecting to our own Windows 10 devices with remote desktop.