Android on Netbooks

By Team Digit | Published on 04 Mar 2009
Android on Netbooks

We have reached a new branching point where technologies are required to be more and more scalable. On one hand we have high powered beasts like the Sony PlayStation 3, playing games and videos at full 1080p to the low end mobiles which can at most handle a meagre resolution of 192x144. This means that developers and designers are required to create content which suits both, often the same content needs to be refactored to support both!

Similarly in the Laptop market, need is arising for smaller and smaller laptops. Net-books are a relatively new concept, which seem to have taken off quite well. A net-book is essentially a minimalist laptop, focused, as its name suggests, in providing full internet services in a small package. These are low powered machines which sometimes do not even have a CD / DVD Drive, usually based on the new Intel Atom Platform. As such they are not capable of efficiently running Windows Vista, and with Windows at its end of support phase, ASUS has turned to ANDROID, the new Operating system being developed by Google.

ANDROID is the new Linux based operating system developed by Google as part of the Open Handset Alliance, which is a consortium of over 30 technology and telecom companies. Although designed for smartphones, it is a modular system which provides a lot of flexibility to the user to customize each and every operation in the way it most suits them. For example on a Mobile phone one has the option to have an application of their choice to handle managing contacts, and making calls etc. As such it can easily be extended to provide the facilities one would expect from a netbook. Android already includes a web browser based on WebKit, the same engine used to run Safari and Google Chrome. Furthermore since ANDROID is open source, it will attract a large no of developers, and thus support a wide array of software.

With the limited resources that a net-book provides, ANDROID may be an appropriate fit. Its flexibility, large support from developer and telecom industries, and the fact that it is designed specifically for small screen and low power devices all signify, that this would be a welcome development in the history of Net-Books.


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