Android-x86Interview Which platform will the next billion people on the internet use? Is it more likely to be Microsoft’s Windows squeezed onto low-cost mobile hardware, or a mobile OS given some steroids? Three former Google executives are betting it's the latter.

And based on Jide’s early showing, a revved-up Android called Remix OS is a serious contender. Jide’s Remix OS adds multitasking, windowing and other productivity smarts to open Android, and packages it up nicely. It’s free and runs on cheap ARM or x86 hardware, and as I found in my recent hands-on, the apps are already there. It isn’t hard to imagine this taking emerging markets by storm.

I met Jide co-founder David Ko and international marketing honcho Jason Zheng recently in London to get the full story.

Along with co-founders Ben Luk and Jeremy Chau, Ko began thinking about adding productivity features to Android in late 2013. Chau had been at Google since 2000, employee No.103, and the first engineer on AdWords and Google Talk. He left in 2008 and began investing in startups. Ko had joined via an acquisition in 2003. Ben Luk had also joined the same year, working on Google Maps and mobile products.

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