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The image above shows a netbook Asus EEEPC 1000H running on Google’s mobile operating system Android. Huh? You thought Android was for mobile phones, right? Well, as we’ve written before, Google is planning to use Android for any device — not just the mobile phones.
Besides writing as freelancers for VentureBeat, we also run a startup called Mobile-facts. It took us about four hours of work to compile Android for the netbook. Having done so, we (Daniel Hartmann, that is) got the netbook fully up and running on it, with nearly all of the necessary hardware you’d want (including graphics, sound and the wireless card for internet) running. See the images below for further impressions.
Here’s the significance: Imagine the billion dollar market at stake here if Google can make good on this vision. Netbooks are basically small-scale PCs. For Silicon Valley myriad of software companies, it means a well-backed, open operating system that is open and ripe for exploitation for building upon. Now think of Chrome, Google’s web browser, and the richness it allows developers to build into the browser’s relationship with the desktop — all of this could usher in a new wave of more sophisticated web applications, cheaper and more dynamic to use. Ramifications abound: What does it mean for the stock price of Microsoft? Microsoft currently owns the vast majority of the desktop operating system market share? In recent weeks, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer repeatedly dismissed Android as competition to Windows Mobile.
Back to our experience in compiling Android for the Asus netbooks. It shows us that there is a big technology push to let Android run on netbooks under way.
Based on the progress we see in the Android open source project, we believe that getting an Android netbook to market is doable in as few as three months. Of course, the timing depends as much on decisions by the partners in Google’s OHA alliance and other developers contributing to Android, as it does on Google itself. It is these partners — including device makers and carriers — who decide how and when to adopt Android for different devices and markets. As we note below, Intel is one such contributor working on the adoption of Android to a notebook.
A mass production of the netbooks would be possible between three to nine months, depending on circumstances, two sources familiar with such matters told us. However, as we evaluate the progress of the various OHA projects, we expect conditions for a mass-market netbook to ripen in 2010, rather than in 2009. Right now a variety a of OHA members, announced and unnanounced, are working on projects to set up a sufficient ecosystem.
One important part of the ecosystem would be to have a set of well-functioning applications (an office productivity suite, for example). Google is mostly leaving applications development for Android to third parties (applications which run in the browser like Google Docs being the notable exception). At the rate things are going, we don’t see enough of these third parties developing applications for Android netbooks in the next 12 months. There have been recent predictions about Android netbooks appearing in 2009. Source; http://venturebeat.com/2009/01/01/android-netbooks-on-their-way-likely-by-2010/
EXPERIENCE IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO A MAN BUT IT IS WHAT A MAN DOES WITH WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM
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