If you thought that the Android operating system was just for mobile phones then think again. Yes we were already aware that Google’s intentions were to make Android available for other devices but how many of us were expecting to see Android on Asus Netbooks?
Well it’s true! Asus have put together a dedicated team of engineers armed with the task of doing just that. Samson Hu head of Asus’ Eee PC division says the Android Netbook could be ready by the end of 2009. Ok so Asus haven’t yet committed themselves to making it commercially available as it’s still in development but it’s looking good so far.
Asus is undeniably still the market leader for Netbooks despite fierce competition from Acer. The first commercially available Netbook, the Asus Eee PC 701 sparked a Netbook war when it was initially launched in 2007. Asus also produced the first Intel Atom powered notebook, the Asus Eee PC 900A and the first 10” Netbook, the Eee PC 1000.
Netbooks are now the fastest growing segment of the PC market as others have jumped on the bandwagon and shipments are expected to double this year but Asus is still out in front and if this Android Netbook gets off the ground, it doesn’t look as if that will change any time soon.
At first, Asus used Linux on its netbooks but Microsoft, true to form and never wanting to miss out on a sizeable chunk of the action, gave Windows XP a stay of execution and quickly licensed it at a reduced rate in order to tap into the Netbook operating system market. Brilliant move too as they managed to gobble up an 85% share of Netbook operating systems with Linux holding the rest.
Surely the big wigs at Microsoft are shaking in their boots just now as they could quite easily be toppled of their perch if these latest developments come to pass.
“With the strength of Google behind it, Android could really challenge Microsoft and steal some market share,” said Calvin Huang, a computer-industry analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. in Taipei. “The benefit is the free license and you can use a lower-power, cheaper processor.”
So let’s see, there are the initial cost benefits as the license is free, and its greener, a big plus these days. They can’t go wrong really. Or can they? Microsoft is currently tailoring Windows 7 OS so that it too will run on Netbooks.
Yes, the Netbook war continues. Watch this space.