Google Hints at Netbook, Microsoft Says ‘Bring It On’

It’s not very surprising as we’ve all speculated a full-fledged Google OS for years, then Google’s mobile OS hit the phone market, and now we’ve seen it (Android, of course) already installed and working dutifully on netbooks. It’s not rock-solid, but Google’s CEO has hinted that there’ll be subsidized, Android-powered netbooks backed by Google or its partners arriving to the netbook scene soon.Straight from the mouth of Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, on March 3rd during a Q&A session in San Francisco:

What’s particularly interesting about netbooks is the price point. Eventually, it will make sense for operators and so forth to subsidize the use of netbooks so they can make services revenue and advertising revenue on the consumption. That’s another new model that’s coming.

Whether or not Schmidt means that Google is planning to follow this ‘new model’ is yet to be seen, but there’s a good chance that there will be Google Netbooks (or mini-notebooks, if you’re picky) subsidized by advertising and/or data contracts to follow Google’s phone come 2010, coinciding with previous predictions. The work has already been done, indeed, as Android is well on its way to being able to compete with other netbook-designated systems, Google has the brains and the funds to pull this off, and it would probably be well-received judging by Google’s maintained popularity and satisfied customers.

As it is, Asus could a netbook specifically for the Android OS, and there are rumors that Google employees already are using said netbooks as Net Applications reported that employees were running an OS whose identity was blocked from traffic monitors. Connect the dots. It’s easily assumed to be Android.

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer already made predictions of his own earlier this year and figures that the big MS can handle anything Google brews up.

I assume we’re going to see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to phones. We’ll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating system business than we ever have before. The seams between what’s a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change, and so we have ramped the investment in the client operating system.

We’ve already seen Windows 7 run well enough on netbooks time and time again, and it’s supposedly going to be woodshedded and optimized even more to suit netbooks in the approaching future, and Android is, as already mentioned, well on its way to competing with Windows 7 and the like. What happens when the monopolist of software and the monopolist of the Internet both try to lay claim to the netbook arena? Competition, advancement of technologies, and lower prices. Delicious.


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