Wind River window enhancement makes Android more like a PC
Overall, Android makes a great and modern OS for smartphones, tablets, and UMPCs alike, but there are still some things that leave us wishing for the more full featured OSs on past devices. One of those things is multitasking, which is still quite lacking on current tablets, mostly because everything runs in fullscreen.
Fortunately, an Intel owned company called Wind River is working to change that with their "platform enhancement" project for Android. What you see above is their user experience enhancement module of the project, which among other things adds a windowed view to currently running applications. As you can see, while it is not the most attractive software, it does appear quite functional and usable.
Windowed applications would obviously not be of much use on a smartphone, but the potential applications for tablets here are pretty big. Having this on a tablet would make it even more like an UMPC, and allow users to really take advantage of the dual and now quad-core tablets and their multitasking prowess.
I would love to see this be released as an open source project that anyone can modify and install, but currently the enhancements are only available for licence to device manufactures. Not only that, the Android version you see above appears to be 1.5 or 1.6, a far cry from the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on today's tablets.
Still, it is awesome that someone is working on this, and hopefully some of the dedicated developers in the open source crowd will be able to bring something similar to the public.[Ars Technica]