Asus says it will use Google's Android platform rather than Windows for its EP101TC tablet computer. This doesn't bode well for Microsoft, which killed its Courier tablet plans in April. Apple is leading the market with iPad, while Android is making good progress.
Asustek Computer, maker of the Eee PC netbooks running Microsoft Windows that
have been hot sellers among consumers, has said it is choosing Google's Android
platform over Windows for a tablet computer.
Asus officials told German blog Netbook News that Asus will eschew Windows
for Android in its EP101TC pad, painting a potentially bleak picture for the
software giant that nixed its own tablet plans in April.
"Rather than running an outdated Windows CE, Asus and the majority of
tablet manufacturers will be relying on Google's operating system," Netbook News
The blog said Asus expects to demonstrate the tablet at the Consumer
Electronics Show in January 2011 before launching it in the first quarter of
that year. It is not clear what flavor of the operating system the tablet would
run, but Android 3.0 is expected before the end of the 2010.
Android smartphones such as the Nexus One are still in the process of being
upgraded to Android 2.2, with those upgrades going out to the Motorola Droid X
and HTC Droid Incredible in August.
With more than 60 phones on the market and more than 160,000 units shipping
daily, there is a growing belief in the industry that Google's Android platform
is the successor to Windows on smartphones.
The key difference is that while Microsoft seeded the market with Windows
Mobile and let any phone maker license it for handsets, Android is open source.
There are no licensing royalties going to Google, which is making its money
from mobile ads served with content on the phones.
While Windows currently dominates the netbook, laptop and PC markets, Apple has said it believes tablets
will subsume the PC market.
Apple has sold 3 million iPads, proving that the tablet market represents a
green field for hardware growth.
But Microsoft is woefully behind there after nixing its Courier tablet,
and all signs point to Android
edging out Windows as the challenger to Apple.
Dell built the Android-based Streak tablet, Lenovo is building an Android
tablet for 2010, and HP is reportedly working on an Android tablet
along with a
tablet based on Palm's WebOS.
Even non-hardware purveyors Google and Verizon are building an Android tablet.