Report: HP May Offer Android in Netbooks Over Windows

Hewlett-Packard is considering offering an operating system platform developed by Google in its netbooks at the expense of Microsoft's Windows OS, according to a published report Tuesday.

HP is contemplating using a Linux-based operating system based on Google's Android platform in some netbooks, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources who had been "briefed on the matter." HP is testing the OS for netbooks, but is undecided on whether to offer it, according to the report.

HP officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Most of the netbooks today come with Microsoft's Windows XP OS, with possible support for the upcoming Windows 7, which has been shown to work on netbooks. Google's Android has been traditionally designed for implementation in mobile phones, but has been talked about as a future OS for netbooks.

A number of enthusiasts have tested Android on netbooks including Asustek's Eee PC. Chip makers like Qualcomm and Freescale are also planning on bringing Android to netbooks that run on their Arm-based chips.

Netbooks are small and low-cost devices designed for Web browsing and basic tasks like running productivity applications. Android could find a good distribution platform in netbooks from HP, which is the world's largest PC maker. About 10 million netbooks shipped in 2008, with the number expected to double this year, according to IDC.

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