Ice cream may be the dessert of choice for many, but not a lot are getting their taste of Ice Cream Sandwich, at least when it comes to Android devices. But even with the lackluster performance of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the tablet and smartphone market -- or perhaps due to it -- Google is reportedly planning to release its successor, Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" by the second quarter of this year.
Barely four months after Google launched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with its latest flagship Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the search giant is reportedly planning to release its successor, according to sources cited by DigiTimes. Device suppliers and vendors from Taiwan say that Google is likely to launch Jelly Bean by Q2 2012 in response to Microsoft's planned release of Windows 8 in the same period.
Windows 8 is reportedly going to be a convergent operating system, meaning it is designed to run on both personal computers and portable devices. As such, tablet manufacturers are already testing Windows 8 on various tablet platforms, including ARM -- which currently runs on most tablets today including the iPad -- as well as Intel x86.
It seems Google doesn't want to be a stranger to the personal computer market. Recall that the company has launched its Chromebook effort last year, with the hopes of snagging the enterprise and academic markets with its largely browser-based cloud operating system. While the Chromebook was a novel idea, it failed to gain traction among a mass audience.
With Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, though, Google hopes to make a comeback in the notebook and netbook market. Jelly Bean will reportedly run on personal computers, as well.
But Google is not content with just letting manufacturers preload Android 5.0 on their notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Google plans to get its foot into the door of Windows consumers, as well. Android 5.0 will be designed to coexist with Windows 8, such that manufacturers can give their users an option -- whether to install Android 5.0 alone, or as a dual-boot alternative to Windows.
What's even more interesting is that users can simply switch across operating systems without even rebooting the device.
The challenge here is whether suppliers and vendors are convinced of Android 5.0's potential. The relatively poor performance of Ice Cream Sandwich to date has left Google's downstream partners to be conservative, and it might take a bit of convincing before these will heavily market Google's upcoming Jelly Bean OS.