Hewlett-Packard seems to be taking netbook computers in the wrong direction with its commitment to offer Google’s Android on its netbook PCs. Other than the “cool” factor, Android has very little to offer to the netbook PC market, except perhaps some hype.
The last thing netbook users need is another flavor of Linux to choose from. Linux market share on netbooks has dropped to less than 15 percent since Microsoft slashed prices on Windows XP Home Edition, and Android is unlikely to change that trend.
Netbooks are in the throes of evolution. The original concept of an inexpensive Web surfing device is quickly giving way to the idea of a multipurpose device that borders on the full functionally of a laptop computer.
Many early netbook buyers are beginning to experience buyer’s remorse, wishing their netbooks did a little more and did it a little faster, and the industry is answering by increasing screen sizes from 10 to 12 inches, offering more powerful processors (such as the Via Nano) and embracing Windows as an operating system.