HP mulls ARM-powered netbooks

Could the world's biggest PC vendor turn its back on Intel with a future netbook? Quite possibly, according to one of the company's executives. HP Personal Systems Group Executive VP Todd Bradley had a chat with Bloomberg, and he made no secret of HP's interest in alternatives to the Intel Atom. "We look at ARM quite a bit," he said. "The mini category is one that plays closely to ARM."

ARM processors can't run x86 software, but that hasn't stopped them from becoming popular in cell phones and other devices. A small Chinese firm recently announced a netbook with an ARM11 CPU and the same Google Android software that runs on handsets like T-Mobile's G1.

Bradley doesn't sound particularly thrilled about the idea of netbooks in general, though. He believes systems have received an "inordinate amount of attention," but the market "hasn't really caught on outside Europe. Customers are realizing netbooks "can't do everything that more powerful machines can."

In March, the rumor mill suggested both Qualcomm and Freescale were also readying ARM netbooks for launches at the Computex trade show. We'll be on location at Computex in Taiwan next week, so stay tuned.

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