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23 February 2009, 11:56

Asus developing Android netbook

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By the end of the year Asus will reportedly release an Eee PC with the Google Android operating system. Asus pioneered the market for low cost, scaled-down laptops that offer internet and email functionality, now known as netbooks. Netbooks have been one of the fastest-growing segments in the PC industry. According to Samson Hu, the head of the Eee PC division at Asus, there are already several developers working on the Android project. This is not the first time that Asus has worked with the Android platform; in late October 2008, Asus was reportedly planning its own smartphone, running the Google Android operating system.

At the beginning of January, Android was unofficially ported to an Eee PC 1000H by contributors to the online publication VentureBeat. It took no more than about four hours to compile Android for the Eee PC and VentureBeat said that the operating system seems to function well on the netbook. They also stated that they could see netbooks running Android being released by 2010. An interesting FAQ has been posted for those interested in Android running on the Eee PC.

As Android is based on Linux, there is no reason why it could not grow into a full Linux distribution for use on netbooks. Android would be competing with Microsoft's Windows XP Home SP3 and various Linux distributions as the primary operating system on netbooks. There is no concrete release date yet for an official Eee PC running Android and it is still unclear which of the Eee PC family will run the OS and what the hardware specifications will be.

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