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Acer Delays Android Netbook, But Should Just Kill It

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google-chrome-netbookEarlier this year, Acer announced plans to create a dual-boot netbook capable of running Microsoft Windows XP and Google Android. But while that might have made sense at the time, that was before Google announced its Google Chrome OS. And so I’ve I questioned Acer’s plan to continue with its Android netbook strategy. I just don’t see much value in the company spending development time and money on Android as an addition to a netbook that’s already running a very capable OS.

It appears the market agrees with me, because Acer is pushing back the launch of the dual-boot netbook, DigiTimes is reporting. Original plans were for an August release, but due to lack of market demand, Acer is now reportedly waiting until at least November. As DigiTimes writes:

“[F]urther evaluation has found demand for an Android netbook is not strong enough, and it has therefore decided to postpone the launch of the model.”

I’m not sure that demand for an Android netbook will be any stronger a few months from now, either. In fact, I suspect it will be even weaker. Microsoft is due to launch Windows 7, which runs perfectly well on today’s netbooks, in October. And Google’s Chrome OS isn’t too far behind, with a launch set for the second half of 2010. In the meantime, Ubuntu’s latest version already includes a “Netbook Remix” edition. Where does that leave room for Android on a netbook?

I was hot for Android on a netbook late last year, but much has changed since then. We’ve yet to see much traction for ARM-based netbooks, making it an x86 world for now. And putting a handset operating system on a 10-inch netbook display is like cramming Mac OS X on a 1024×600 screen — I’ve done it, and the experience isn’t optimal. At this point, Android may have missed the netbook boat — even if Acer isn’t quite ready to admit it.

17 Responses to “Acer Delays Android Netbook, But Should Just Kill It”

  1. I´d say if they´re gonna do this, why not wait for Google to launch Chrome OS? No point jumping throughhoops with Android, which wasn´t designed for netbooks, when there´s an OS specifically designed for netbooks in the works!

    • Actually, if you do your research, Android was built with many devices in mind. It was made to be upscaled to a netbook. That is why several companies have taken interest in Android for netbooks, tablets, and mids. I think I saw somewhere that an independent team recompiled android to work on a netbook in less than three hours. It really wasn’t made to be only a smartphone. Google released it as a mobile OS, capable of running on many kinds of mobile devices. Google Chrome will overlap a tiny bit in netbooks, but I imagine it will really shine in low cost computers.

  2. ladkocb

    Computer illiteracy 2.0
    Back in the eighties there were initiatives to improve the computer literacy of general public. It seems to me that we need again such initiatives, since today we encounter a new type of computer illiteracy, which seem to be as broadly spread as the old one: the new computer illiteracy is the belief that the use of computing and electronics is the use of windows for the windows-centered activities. People who believe that are simply computer illiterate, and they are kept illiterate and ignorant by the interested companies, mainly Microsoft and the related media. The independent media should educate the general public and inform them about the great possibilities which by now are hindered by the mentioned commercial actors. It appears that the hardware companies are definitely on the side of progress, bringing up more and more Microsoft-free solutions, which unfortunately are again and again discredited by parts of the media and computer illiterate public.

  3. Chrome OS is like Android 2.0 for Laptops.

    Android ONLY makes sense for ARM based laptops. And Acer’s joke thing was an Intel Atom laptop, so obviously it makes no sense whatsoever, and the only reason they announced it was to confuse people.

    The ARM Laptops are coming, Google will provide the best OS for them, and they will disrupt the market of Intel and Microsoft.

  4. Netbooks would still be just a curiosity today if Microsoft hadn’t allowed XP on them.

    Meanwhile, Android hasn’t exactly taken the mobile world by storm (though hew hardware this year may help in that regard). And since Linux has arguably failed in the netbook world, I can’t imagine why adding Android to the mix would be a good idea.

  5. The compact model is great. However, the demand has and might continue to be weak
    due to a the recession we are in. Consumers are scaling back on nice to have cute mini laptops
    and other gadgets.

  6. NetSurfer101

    I like the idea of the smaller ultra subcompact laptops; I actually bought one of the early Sony Vaio Picturebooks in 2000. There were problems for sure, especially with peripheral hardware, however I bought it with that in mind. This “netbook” craze if facing a multitude of issues beyond a glut of competition out there because, unlike my Sony in 2000, consumers are buying them with the service without really knowing that they are not quite a computer–small screen; small keyboard; etc.