A slip-up by a third-party developer has exposed Dell's plans to release entry-level notebooks running an operating system created by Google.
It was a press release from the software development company BSQUARE that revealed that Dell is in this group. It says, in part:
Bsquare Corporation ... today announced it is porting Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google's Android platform.
Dell already makes a line of netbooks, but its Inspiron Mini models run Microsoft Windows XP.
The announcement from Bsquare doesn't give any details on Dell's upcoming Android-based models, like when they will be released.
Just One of Many
Other netbook makers are also working on very inexpensive notebooks running Google's operating system.
Asus executives have made contradictory statements about their company's plans, and HP is also looking into making a laptop running this operating system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
In addition, MSI (Micro-Star International) -- maker of the highly-acclaimed netbook the MSI Wind U100 -- will allegedly announce an Android-based netbook in the near future.
One small company has already jumped into the game; Skytone unveiled the Alpha-680, a convertible netbook based on Android that will be released later this year.
Many netbook makers offer Linux as a less expensive option than Microsoft Windows, but this has never been very popular. Android is based n Linux, and netbooks running it might be more successful thanks to Google's and Android's name recognition.
They would also have access to the rapidly growing collection of third-party software written for this operating system.
In addition, Google gives this operating system away for free, so there would be no licensing fees. At the same time, it's putting a great deal of effort into improving Android, which the netbook makers would benefit from.
This OS is missing a few popular features though, which is why BSQUARE is working on a version of Adobe's Flash Lite for Dell's netbooks.
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