Google's Android on the Asus Netbook

Could Google's Android be positioned as a viable netbook operating system? Freelance writers Matthäus Krzykowski & Daniel Hartmann think so,  and in about four hours have compiled the mobile device platform to run on an Asus EEEPC 1000H netbook. The Android Open Source Project and its push to use the platform and applications on more devices could extend well to netbook's.
"For Silicon Valleys myriad of software companies, it means a well-backed, open operating system that is open and ripe for exploitation for building upon. Now think of Chrome, Google’s web browser, and the richness it allows developers to build into the browser’s relationship with the desktop — all of this could usher in a new wave of more sophisticated web applications, cheaper and more dynamic to use."

Krzykowski and Hartmann run a startup called Mobile-facts and believe that "getting an Android netbook to market is doable in as few as three months. Of course, the timing depends as much on decisions by the partners in Google’s OHA alliance and other developers contributing to Android, as it does on Google itself. It is these partners — including device makers and carriers — who decide how and when to adopt Android for different devices and markets."

Google's OHA (Open Handset Alliance) partners include numerous companies that could easily, if given the greenlight, push the Android platform to netbook's, and beyond. Intel, Asus, Broadcom, Nvidia, and Samsung are just a few of the notable members that could be key to this movement.

In the Android-Porting Google Group you can find step by step instructions to compile for an ASUS Eee 701 for those wanting to experiment.

Industry insiders say that the probability of a production Android Netbook might not be viable until 2010.

Netbooks are designed to be small form factor, very portable, mobile computers with a lightweight operating system and a sub $500 price. Combine this with an open source operating system like Android that is heavily backed by Google with (hopefully) a large selection of consumer friendly applications available in the near future and you will have a portable processing package that could very well be a Microsoft killer on this front.