Google Android to Power HP Netbooks
Article by George Norman
On 01 Apr 2009
The Android operating system that Mountain View search engine giant Google developed to power the G1 smartphone (popularly known as the Google phone) has spurred the interest of hardware manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HP). Traditionally the computer system manufacturer would ship their systems with Windows XP or Vista, and Linux on some systems. In a move to distance themselves from XP and Vista, HP is considering using the Android to power its netbooks.

Netbooks have limited capability and for that reason a proper operating system must be select so as to make the most of the system’s resources. Operating systems that hog the machine’s resources are not exactly adequate – and Windows Vista for example is not known for being light when it comes to system requirements. You could of course load Windows 7 Starter on a netbook, but the upcoming Windows-based OS comes with several limitations, such as the lack of options when it comes to changing the default wallpaper ( details here ).

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According to HP Vice President Satjiv Chahil, the goal is to harness the potential provided by the Android OS and use it in the computer and communications industries. The company has put the Android through its paces in trying to get it to power a netbook, but for the time being HP programmers are still testing Android/HP netbook compatibility. If the Android OS proves to be an adequate alternative, then HP will bring it to the market.

It must be said that HP is not the only hardware manufacturer that is taking the Android OS seriously; Asus would like to use Android to power Eee PCs and Dell would like to use Google’s open source software on several platforms, including MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices).

Just to put things in perspective, analysts estimate that in 2009 global shipments of netbooks are going to range between 20 and 30 million units. Microsoft wants in on that market (hence Windows 7 Starter), market which is dominated by Linux, and Android’s potential interference is not exactly good news.



Tags: Google, Android, G1, HP, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Windows
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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