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Android Ready to Make a Netbook Push?

Acer has decided to jump on Googles Android operating system bandwagon by developing a netbook based on it. The announcement underscores the growing interest that the netbook sector has recently been gaining as well as the potential challenges that Android may present to Microsofts Windows operating system.

Paul Korzeniowski

June 3, 2009

2 Min Read

Acer has decided to jump on Googles Android operating system bandwagon by developing a netbook based on it. The announcement underscores the growing interest that the netbook sector has recently been gaining as well as the potential challenges that Android may present to Microsofts Windows operating system.Acer, one the industrys largest PC and notebook suppliers, did not formally announce the product line but stated it planned to unveil one next quarter and ship it later this year. Netbooks combine the power of notebook computers in small, smartphone-like form factors, so executives can more easily stay in contact with the home office and complete their work on the road. These devices are gaining interest because of their convenience and low cost, priced at about $500.

To date, Microsoft has been the leading netbook supplier, garnering as much as 90% of the fledgling market share, according to some market analysts. However, alternatives, such as Linux and Android, are starting to get attention. Earlier this year, Asustek Computer Inc. said it would develop a model that runs on Googles software.

How much of a threat Android presents to the Redmond Behemoth is an open question. The Google system does have some strong points. Lower pricing may be an attraction with the Android netbooks: Acer expects its Android model to sell for less than its Windows system. However, throughout its history, Microsoft has been able to beat back a bevy of suppliers who have tried to loosen the hammerlock it has had on the operating system market and will not take the new threat lightly.

For small and medium businesses, the Acer announcement presents welcome news. Netbooks are quickly working their way from novelty items to widely accepted technology. Androids potential should at the very least present Microsoft with a formidable competitor, so it will have to offer competitive features and pricing. The end result is businesses will find a wide array of possible netbook selections, and ideally one will meet their needs.

About the Author(s)

Paul Korzeniowski

Contributor

Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance contributor to InformationWeek who has been examining IT issues for more than two decades. During his career, he has had more than 10,000 articles and 1 million words published. His work has appeared in the Boston Herald, Business 2.0, eSchoolNews, Entrepreneur, Investor's Business Daily, and Newsweek, among other publications. He has expertise in analytics, mobility, cloud computing, security, and videoconferencing. Paul is based in Sudbury, Mass., and can be reached at [email protected]

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