Acer, one of the big players in the netbook market, will be offering customers the option of the Android operating system (OS) in place of Microsoft Windows on its new netbook.
Developed by the Open Handset Alliance, the open and free-to-develop Android OS was originally hailed as the next big thing for the smartphone due to its ability to open up the platform and move away from the closed proprietary OS offered by many mobile operators.
However, the OS was designed to be adapted to mobile devices in general, and earlier this year Chinese firm Skytone revealed its Alpha 680, the first Android-powered netbook.
Acer has a larger role to play – as third-largest global PC manufacturer, its netbooks are widely bought, and with the option of a cheaper price tag due to Android source code being free to use and develop, this may prove some competition for Windows.
It also has some other perks: "The Android OS offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the internet. For this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android netbooks," said Jim Wong, president of Acer’s IT products global operation, at the Computex 2009 conference where the Android-powered netbook was unveiled.
Acer’s Android netbook is expected some time in the third quarter of 2009.
By Marie Boran