Android Gaining Steam

HP is testing Android as an operating system for its forthcoming line of netbooks, according to several published reports. Far from being a welcome sign of relief in an otherwise dry period for Google, this is yet more evidence that Android is being taken very seriously by people in the industry.

Yes, the HTC Touch is the only Android-powered device currently on the market, but several manufacturers have been publicly kicking the tires on Google's new OS--and then some.

Korean handset maker and shaker LG Electronics said it's going to equip two new smartphones with Android, following in the footsteps of Samsung and Motorola.

So the idea that "Android has not taken off for cellphones as fast as the company would have liked, so any play it gets on netbooks and other computers is a bonus" is kind of bogus.

It's ironic, at least to me, that vanilla-sounding "Linux" has had trouble getting traction, while slapping a cool-sounding name like Android is giving open source a boost, even among people who should actually know better (meaning people in the industry, but then again, maybe that's an oxymoron of another color).

Meanwhile, Microsoft folks must be gnashing their teeth, having pinned their hopes for the success of Windows 7 in large part because it plays well with netbooks. Indeed, netbook volumes could double this year, while PC shipments crater.