Several of the top laptop makers are supposedly looking into making netbooks with Google’s Android OS, and Dell has now confirmed that it’s on this list.
The company has released a video showing Android running on a Dell Mini 10v, a netbook that was introduced last week.
In the video, Doug Anson, a technology strategist from Dell’s office of the CTO, describes Android as “a very nice, very small, and very snappy little operating system.”
The Mini 10v is running a version of Android 1.5 that has been ported to run on a netbook. Google created this OS for smartphones, so some tweaking is required.
Dell’s Anson is careful to say that his company hasn’t announced plans to release an Android-powered device, but one of Dell’s partners has already let the cat out of the bag.
A recent press release from the software development company BSQUARE reveals that it is working on a project for Dell’s upcoming netbooks. Specifically, it is porting Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 for this platform.
Just One of Many
HP is also on the list of netbook makers that are looking into Google’s operating system, and 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.
Asus executives have made contradictory statements about their company’s plans for Android.
One small company has already jumped into the game; Skytone has 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 on 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 OS 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.