4/7/2009 1:19:00 PM
Hewlett Packard planning Google Android for netbooks
Hewlett Packard (HP) is testing Google’s Android operating system, and may release a netbook that uses the platform in the coming months.
HP currently sells netbooks that run both Windows XP and the open source Linux operating system.
The move would make HP the first manufacturer to use the free, open source Android operating system beyond a traditional phone device, and on something closer to a PC.
Android is currently only used on the HTC G1 smartphone on T-Mobile, with the HTC Magic on Vodafone due out this month, followed by a low-cost Huawei smartphone also on T-Mobile later in 2009. The operator said last month that it expected the operating system to be used on netbooks this year.
Many in the industry, including Microsoft, are also anticipating the release of laptops that run Android, although no PC manufacturer has publicly committed itself so far.
Analysts estimate that global shipments of netbooks will be between 20 million and 30 million units in 2009.
An HP spokeswoman said: ‘As the world’s leading computer company, HP wants to understand all the OS choices in the marketplace that may be used by its competitors. And we remain open to considering various approaches to meet our own customer needs.’
She added: ‘Today, our OS choices range from XP and Vista from Microsoft for the majority of our products, plus Windows Mobile for our handhelds, to Linux for certain computing customers.
‘We want to assess the capability Android may have for the computer and communications industries, and so we are studying it. HP is constantly evaluating ways to help solve customer challenges.’