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January 3, 2009

Android for Netbooks?

Android is not just an operating system for mobile phones and it's likely that it will be used for netbooks, ultra-portable laptops which started to become popular last year. Daniel Hartmann managed to install Android on an Asus EEEPC 1000H "with nearly all of the necessary hardware you'd want (including graphics, sound and the wireless card for internet) running". It's also interesting to see that some Android code references Asus Eee 701, the first Asus netbook.

VentureBeat speculates that we could see the first netbooks preloaded with Android in less than a year, but Android could become a general-purpose operating system for any kind of devices. Installing apps for your car or TV is not too far fetched.

This post details how to install Android on a netbook, but you shouldn't try it unless you understand the process.

(Android at Googleplex - photo licensed as CC Attribution by pr1001. More photos.)

18 comments:

  1. sounds interesting...
    would love to see more in the future :D

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  2. uh pardon me but what's the point?
    Isn't Android itself based the Linux kernel?
    Why not just use a lightweight Linux distribution?
    (Too many question marks)

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  3. @ anonymous

    the point is, perhaps, which company/organization supports that system, I prefer it is Google.

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  4. This is great!
    I think android will kick ass in 2009!

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  5. In answer to some questions above, I don't think the point of all this is that it is necessarily desirable to run Android on laptops, but rather just to demonstrate that it is (relatively) easy to do (at least for people already familiar with compiling their own operating systems).

    What it demonstrates is that Android, being based on Linux, is a complete OS and can probably be run on anything that will run Linux generally, which is just about every box with a CPU of any kind in it.
    Unlike Windows, which at this point is almost hard-coded for Pentium and above.

    I don't think it necessarily proves that Google is planning their own general purpose OS, but it does show that they are well positioned to produce such a thing should they decide they want to (and I hope they do).

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  6. It is great that it is now working on Netbooks, but is there any update on playing and watching Web content on the G1

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  7. First signs of the elusive 'Google os' ;-)

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  8. What about Mobile phone's will it work on my n95?

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  9. Is the elusive google OS Linux with a Java desktop manager?

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  10. "uh pardon me but what's the point?
    Isn't Android itself based the Linux kernel?
    Why not just use a lightweight Linux distribution?
    (Too many question marks)"

    The usability in Android is really fantastic and promises to constantly improve. One always awesome thing about free stuff like Android or Linux is that makes information technology available to lower-income markets. Lower-income markets also have a tendency to be less tech-savvy so usability is HUGELY important. Someone in a developing country who has never seen a computer would be much more likely to be able to use Android than a version of Linux. I got one of those $100 laptops, which runs on a linux-based operation system called Sugar, and the usability is not very good even though it's designed for children. Google is all about getting people access to information, and putting Android on netbooks is a pretty cool development in that direction.

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  11. its going to be on the same line with MOBLIN

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  12. A slice into the Apple pie?

    I think that Google should take notice of the interest in this - As Android on mobiles is starting to gain ground int he marketplace, having Android on netbooks, desktops, laptops or tablets (not to mention the STB in you living room) will really enable Google to take on the other OS vendors - a single platform for running your favourite applications and getting access to all you data across a miriad of hardware devices - sounds almost like tech nirvana. I'm going off to dream about analysing my wireless network from my fridge door!

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  13. This is the future and I think PDAs with Windows Mobile will drop a price even more from this.

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  14. Install Ubuntu and get a real system from the start, Android feels really like a crippled linux box, Android is a crap system, maybe ok on a phone but on a computer, no thnx

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  15. u should try da ubuntu unity it rocks

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  16. i have an android OS on my Acer laptop. i like using it but im restricted to using it only at home since thats the only place i have WiFi internet. is it possible to somehow use a USB internet stick form a carrier like vodafone of optus on the Android system for portable use??? if anyone knows please email me on tallandangerous_109@hotmail.com

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  17. if your netbook is 3G-ready then you can use the USB netstick

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