image_52In recent news, Bloomberg have written a speculative article on ASUS and the prospect of the Android OS in their upcoming netbooks. As one of the first companies to pioneer the netbook style laptops (sub-$500), ASUS continue to forge a path which many other manufacturers have already begun to walk. Samson Hu, head of the Eee PC business at ASUS, recently said that ASUS have “allocated engineers to develop an Android-based netbook by as early as the year”. Hu was quick to mention that whether or not this will result in a final product is unclear since the project is still in development.

Obviously the number one producer of PC operating systems is Microsoft. However, Calvin Huang, a computer-industry analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. in Taipei believes that Google have enough strength behind them to really have a bite at the Windows cake and perhaps steal some of the market share.

However, Microsoft remain defiant, with Ben Rudolph, senior manager for Windows reported as saying “We remain confident that people will keep on buying Windows, as we’ve seen strong growth in Windows on these small notebook PCs.”

Clearly it is very early days for the netbook style PC, but as Microsoft move from larger, faster devices to smaller ones, Google move from smaller devices to larger ones (think phone to laptop). Obviously a heavy OS like Vista cannot run well on a low specification device; however a light OS like Android will run well on anything. It seems to me there should be a clear winner in this new battle for the ultraportable laptops (netbooks), but only time will tell.

James Tromans
Contributing editor of, based in the U.K.