Could Google's Android hit netbooks next year?

Google's Android mobile platform could make the transition from T-Mobile's G1 cell phone to full-featured netbooks, according to VentureBeat. The site says it got Android running on an Asus Eee PC 1000H in about four hours, and going by prior evidence and word from anonymous sources, it expects Android-powered netbooks to start hitting the market as soon as next year:

A mass production of the [Android-powered] netbooks would be possible between three to nine months, depending on circumstances, two sources familiar with such matters told us. However, as we evaluate the progress of the various [Open Handset Alliance] projects, we expect conditions for a mass-market netbook to ripen in 2010, rather than in 2009. Right now a variety a of OHA members, announced and unnanounced, are working on projects to set up a sufficient ecosystem.

As VentureBeat points out, netbook makers may wait until a suite of solid desktop applications is available for Android. And since Google largely leaves it up to third-party developers to write Android apps, that could take some time.

Still, Android has clear advantages: backing from Google, freely available source code, and a solid Linux base. Using a current iteration of the operating system, VentureBeat managed to get Wi-Fi and audio working—and Android adjusted to the Eee's 1024x600 resolution automatically.

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