HP Studying Google’s Android Platform for Ultraportables

Google Android How about Google’s Android operating system/platform for a notebook/laptop or even a netbook? Would you believe HP is taking a look at it?

It’s no April Fool’s joke. Reuters is reporting that Hewlett-Packard is looking at various ways that Google’s open-source operating system could be used. The article also mentions that the Wall Street Journal has sources claiming that HP is looking at Android as a platform for future netbooks.

Right now, Android has mainly been seen on mobile phones (or smartphones).

An HP spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific products, and only said that HP was studying Android in order to “understand all of the OS choices in the marketplace that might be used by our competitors, or that might possibly be of value to our customers too…..We want to assess the capabilities that Android might present for the computer and communications industries.

HP is not the first to consider this, mind you. Back in February, the head of Asustek’s Eee PC line stated that Asustek had assigned engineers to look at Android-based netbooks and other Android-based devices, for a product that might be designed and finished by the end of this year. At the time, Asustek had not committed to a production run of any such devices, and as of now, they still haven’t, but it raised a lot of eyebrows.

Android is appealing – it’s free, it’s lightweight, has a large development community, and there are plenty of applications beginning to roll out for it, and being that it’s Google, an Android-based laptop/ultraportable will have access to most of the Google apps that many people use on a daily basis. People have been making Android run on non-mobile phone devices as well.

Given the “race to the bottom” as far as pricing, it could very well present a viable alternative to Linux on the $300 and lower devices.

Read: Reuters