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Dell May Be Working On Android Netbook

Dell shipping an Android netbook would give a significant boost to the Google-inspired OS and could encourage other computer makers to follow.
Dell could be working on an Android netbook, if a software maker's press release is to be believed.

Bsquare, which makes software for smartphones and other mobile devices, said it's porting Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology, which is used to run video and other multimedia in Web applications, onto Dell's Android netbooks. The release, sent out Wednesday, gave no indication when the mini-laptops would be launched.

Dell on Thursday did not respond to a request for comment.

Android is a Google-developed, open source operating system for smartphones and other mobile devices. Dell working on a netbook that would run the OS would not be a surprise, given that it already sells PCs running Linux, another open source OS, and other vendors, including rival Hewlett-Packard, are testing Android.

Dell shipping an Android netbook would give a significant boost to the OS and could encourage other computer makers to follow. The company is the world's second-largest PC maker behind HP.

Dell makes netbooks today running Windows XP or Linux under the Inspiron Mini brand. Netbooks have been the only growing segment of the PC market during the economic recession. The mini-laptops, introduced in 2007, have screens 10 inches or less, are optimized for Web surfing and other basic tasks, and cost as little as $300. Global shipments this year are expected to rise by 68.5% from 2008, according to iSuppli.

During the economic downturn, much of the growth of netbooks has come at the expense of contemporary PC categories, particularly desktops. ISuppli predicts shipments of PCs will drop by 9.5% this year, compared with 2008.


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