Google is the top internet search engine and has the top internet advertising network as well. Search and advertising aren’t all that Google is about though. Google launched its own open source operating system for smartphones called Android that came to market first on the T-Mobile G1.
Google has eyes on more for Android than smartphone use and some of the largest computer makers in the world are considering using Android for their netbooks. HP confirmed in April 2009 that it was considering Android for use on some of its netbook models, but pointed out that no firm decision had been made. HP has yet to announce an Android-powered netbook.
Today Acer, the world's number one netbook maker, announced that it would be offering netbooks with Android installed starting in Q3 2009. The move will make Acer the first company to offer Android on a netbook and some think that Android could challenge Microsoft's market dominance.
There has been no word on pricing form Acer, but analysts believe that Windows XP adds about $25 to the price of a netbook according to Reuters. Acer also reports that it plans to launch smartphones running Android later this year as well.
Acer's Jim Wong said, "Today's netbooks are not close to perfection at all. In two years, it will all be very different. If we do not continue to change our mobile Internet devices, consumers may not choose then anymore"
Acer wouldn’t speculate on the number of netbooks it expects to ship with Android installed, but considering the return rates on Linux-powered netbooks are significantly higher than windows XP-based netbooks Android had better offer something other Linux varieties can’t. The $25 savings for using Android versus Windows XP might not be enough.
Wong told Reuters, "When we are doing this new Android netbook, we are not going to make the other one (Windows XP-powered) go away. Both systems will still remain available to customers, and one will not go away because of the other."
Analysts point out that with the absence of software that runs on Android, it's far too early to speculate on how the move will affect Microsoft's Windows XP operating system that currently dominates the market.