Acer has promised to release a netbook running Google’s Android operating system later this year.
Jim Wong, the company’s president of IT products, said,
“The Android operating system offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the internet; for this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android Netbooks for added convenience to our customers.”
This device will be a version of the Aspire One, which is already on the market running Microsoft Windows. Going forward, Acer will offer Google’s operating system as an option on many its netbooks.
Asus Bows Out
It’s quite possibler Acer will release the first Android-based netbook, as one of its top competitors it putting its project on hold.
Yesterday, news broke of an Asus Eee PC running Android on display at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan. Today, the company’s chairman says that this was a mistake. Jonney Shih said, “We’ve decided not to display this product.”
An Acer Smartphone, Too
Acer has wider plans for Android than just netbooks. It will also release a smartphone running this OS in the fourth quarter of this year.
This doesn’t mean that all of Acer’s phones will be based on Android — it unveiled a line of Windows phones earlier this year.
Netbooks are inexpensive laptops with a focus on email and web access. They have quickly become popular as the economy soured.
Many of these run Microsoft Windows, but the hardware requirements for this operating system are fairly high, pushing up the price. Some netbook makers offer Linux as a less expensive option, but this OS generally isn’t very consumer-friendly.
Android was designed to run on phones, so its hardware requirements are fairly basic and inexpensive. And it’s much more consumer friendly, and has the benefit of Google’s name recognition.
Netbooks running Android 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, which is not the case for Windows. At the same time, Google is putting a great deal of effort into improving Android, which the netbook makers would benefit from.