Acer has showcased what it claims is the first netbook which comes with both Google's mobile platform, Android, and Microsoft's very own Windows 7, which is scheduled to be launched on the 22nd of October.
In reality though, the laptop it unveiled earlier today is not a proper dual booting machine. You can only boot up in Google's open source OS either from a clean start or if yuo do a restart. To go in Windows 7, you must start Android and select a "Switch OS" from Android's slide out menu.
This is a rather new approach to implementing dual booting on x86 compatible computers. There is normally a simplified menu that allows you to select which OS you want to log into; others like Dell with the Latitude Z have grafted a separate Linux-based computer altogether on top of the Windows setup.
Acer however went the other way and Windows 7 appears to be the parasitic OS since by default, the user logs into Android rather than Windows 7. It is not known whether this can be changed or if it is hard coded.
Obviously, the main advantage of using Android is that you will be able to start using your application within seconds (18 seconds before you can "chat" say the marketing guys) and a super fast shutdown (down to a mere 3 seconds).
It is also an absolute boon for people who already own an Android-based mobile phone and who will be in (very) familiar territories. The only questions that remain are (a) where are the Smartbooks (b) hpw will Microsoft react (c) when will it go on sale.
The D250 is an existing product which doesn't come with any features that sets it apart from the dozens of other netbooks already on the market. It has a 1.6GHz Atom Processor, 1GB SDRAM, a 160GB hard disk drive and a 10.1-inch 1024x600 LED-backlit LCD display. It is already available for as little as £232 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161005 including delivery from Ebuyer albeit with Windows XP only.