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UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that Acer’s AIO Android PC, the DA220HQL, uses a Texas Instruments 4430 ARM processor, not the Intel Core i5 that was erroneously listed by some retailers. The product is on sale now for $399.

Android’s unstoppable march continues on, and, according to CNET, the OS is about to go to war on a new front. Google’s operating system currently leads all mobile platforms in global market share; now, thanks to Acer, Android will be making a play for the desktop territory dominated by Windows.

acer-aioThe Acer AIO (which stands for all-in-one), is a desktop PC with a spec list that doesn’t quite match up to Windows machines. The AIO packs a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor — a dual-core chip clocking in at 1 GHz — and couples that with 1 GB of memory and storage options that start at 8 GB. But therein lies the beauty of running Android on a desktop: the machine won’t require a lot of memory and storage because Android is designed to multitask efficiently, and mobile apps just aren’t as bloated as desktop apps.

I’ve often wondered why Google itself wasn’t pushing Android onto the desktop. Hybrid machines like those in the ASUS Transformer line have shown it can be done, and Android would offer clear benefits to PC users that don’t need to run Windows apps — for starters, cheaper hardware and increased battery life. It seems that Google is intent for the moment to let Chrome OS be the alternative to traditional PC operating systems, but it’s also not dissuading partners like ASUS from putting Android onto PCs. In fact, chip maker Intel is so gung-ho on the idea of Android-powered PCs that, back in March, it released a version of Jelly Bean that dual-boots with Windows 8.

The news that Acer is pushing out a desktop running Android may not seem like a big deal, but it could signal the start of a very interesting era in personal computing. Most devices are limited in what they can run — for instance, Windows PCs running Windows apps, or iPhones running iOS apps. Many devices made by the same company — such as Apple’s iPhones and Macs — can’t run the same apps unless they’re built for two distinct operating systems. Android desktop PCs could run the same apps as Galaxy S4s or Nexus 7s, and I’m sure that would make developers very happy.

So, what do you think? Could you leave the Windows or Mac desktop world behind and work on an Android-powered PC like the Acer AIO? We’d love to get your thoughts.


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