Dell: Working on an Android Netbook?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 06, 2009

Dell may be cooking up a series of netbooks based on Android software. On May 6, software company Bsquare announced that “it is porting Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google’s Android platform.”

Dell hasn’t officially announced any netbooks based on Android, which is an operating system developed by a slew of companies including Google. Dell hasn’t yet returned my request for comment.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bsquare leak holds water. After all, Dell has long put out computers based on open-source operating system Linux. Some people prefer them. Plus, they can be cheaper than machines based on Microsoft’s Windows. Android is just the latest variant of the open-source software, and lots of companies, including Hewlett-Packard, are testing it out. So, why not Dell?

Clearly, this is great news for Google, and bad news for Microsoft, the maker of Windows operating system that dominates the market today. If Dell jumps onto the Android bandwagon, the move could push other companies toward Android as well.

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Reader Comments

Roland

May 7, 2009 01:22 AM

Dell has a contract with Microsoft. The terms are not public, but you can bet it was carefully written with scenarios like this in mind. Dell could be taking a long walk off a short pier, if they aren't very careful.

AK

May 7, 2009 09:50 AM

@Roland
Dell already tried his way selling Linux based PCs.
And this hasn't been a success so far. So I don't agree with Olga.

Rick

May 7, 2009 10:36 AM

What Roland is saying is key to understanding why Dell and HP sometimes behave like suffering from split personality.

Ambrose Brooks

May 7, 2009 11:00 AM

It would be illegal for Microsoft to retaliate against Dell for choosing Android products for some of their laptops. They could choose not to sell to Dell though, but that would only make the rift bigger and make no sense. Microsoft needs to focus on innovation and improved quality of their OS to stay the dominate chose for consumers. Consumer software to date is almost entirely dependent on Microsoft's OS but that is starting to be challenged as Apple gains market share (EA and Blizzard both making their flagship titles for duel release on OSX). So, Android or any other competitor to Microsoft would just help create better products all around for consumers.

Mark

May 7, 2009 11:39 AM

"It would be illegal for Microsoft to retaliate against Dell for choosing Android products for some of their laptops."
Microsoft has always abused the laws big time. It has been found guilty in court trials against IBM, Sun, you name it, even the USA government sued Microsoft and proved it guilty! (the trial from 1998-2004)

Roland

May 7, 2009 07:58 PM

Apparently this story is a mistake:
Dell's Android plans published by mistake
http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42351/140/

Henry L.

May 7, 2009 09:16 PM

It will be very difficult for Android to more popular than Microsoft unless it's adopted by the Business world. That's where the money is. Like Linux, Android will find a niche and hopefully that niche grows into something significant.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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