HP May Use Google’s Android for Some Netbooks

From the Wall Street Journal:

Hewlett-Packard Co. is considering replacing Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system with software developed by Google Inc. in some mini-PCs called netbooks, said people briefed on the matter

H-P, the world’s largest PC maker, has programmers testing Google’s Android system–originally designed for cell phones–for a potential netbook, said these people. H-P hasn’t decided whether to bring an Android netbook to market, they said.

Satjiv Chahil, a vice president of H-P’s PC division, declined to say whether H-P plans to sell Android-based devices, but confirmed that the company is studying the Google software. “We want to assess the capability Android may have for the computer and communications industries, and so we are studying it,” Mr. Chahil said.

Google doesn’t profit from Android, which is available free of charge. But Google stands to benefit by edging rival Microsoft off its home turf on the PC desktop. Android was also designed to be easily compatible with many Google services, such as Google Maps. Microsoft currently provides the operating system for more than 90% of the world’s PCs.

Other PC makers are also studying Android. Asustek Computer Inc., which in 2007 came out with the first netbook, has publicly said it is considering an Android netbook. As previously reported, Dell Inc. is considering a smart phone using Android.

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