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Acer Set To Sell Android Netbooks Or Smartbooks By Q3 2009

Acer, the third biggest PC manufacturer, will be launching Android based netbooks by the end of the year as competition flares towards Christmas.

The announcement comes a few hours after pictures of Asus, Acer's fiercest rival, demoed an Asus EEE PC Netbook running Google's Android operating system on a Qualcomm-based hardware platform instead of Intel.

The company said in a statement that "it believes the Android operating system will contribute significantly to the worldwide netbook market growth". The move could prove particularly threatening to Microsoft which has successfully fend off competition from Linux.

Worryingly for Intel as well, Asus's demonstration of an Android/Qualcomm pairing opens the doors for a possible ousting of the Wintel duo which could have devastating effects on sales. Netbooks currently attract up to a quarter of notebook sales and is set to rise amidst the recession.

Acer's Android Based Aspire One could effectively surf the sales wave generated by Windows-based Aspire One in 2008 and 2009 to grab a sizable portion of the market.

Acer also announced that it will be joining the Open Handset Alliance which regroups hardware manufacturers with an interest in Google Android platform. It paves the way for a possible Android smartphone in 2009, which shouldn't be a difficult endeavour for the company.

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Our Comments

Expect many other manufacturers to announce Android-based netbooks or Android/Arm-based Smartbooks in the next few months. Microsoft won't be giving Windows operating systems for free and Intel won't want to slash the price of the Atom platform to that of Qualcomm's QSD8650a. Ultimately prices will go down, much to the pleasure of consumers.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.