According to an interview with Bloomberg, Asus has allocated a squad of engineers to put the operating system onto its range of netbooks. Asus kicked off the netbook market with the EeePC and retains a dominant market position.
Initially Asus offered netbooks running only Linux, but Microsoft has been quick to move into the sector and now licenses Windows XP to netbooks, gaining 85 per cent of that market, albeit at the cost of reduced royalty charges.
"With the strength of Google behind it, Android could really challenge Microsoft and steal some market share," said Calvin Huang, a computer industry analyst at Daiwa Securities Group in Taipei. "The benefit is the free licence, and you can use a lower-power, cheaper processor."
Google originally designed Android for mobile phones, but the Linux-based system is proving flexible enough to be ported to a variety of platforms.
"You've got Microsoft starting out in bigger devices and moving into smaller devices," said Neil Mawston, a telecoms analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Google is, in many ways, moving in the opposite direction."
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