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Google Challenging Microsoft & Intel with Android-based Netbooks?


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Google's Android free operating system that first was made for mobile phones is finding its way in netbook laptops. Despite economic recession, netbooks had the fastest growth in the PC market last year because of their budget price, portability and usablity for any sort of consumers in any age and with any occupation.

Microsoft and Intel were the top leading companies in this market that have been able to make the most money from netbooks. MS earned more than 60% of its operating profit from netbooks last year and Intel earned $300 million revenue from its Atom CPU in Q4 2008 (an increase of 50%).

This attractive market segment has encouraged Google to offer its free Android OS to laptop makers to use on their netbooks.

Interesting thing is that Laptop makers have welcomed Google. Although, Andirod is not compatible with many popular applications yet and even it can not support drivers of some peripherals, laptop makers like HP-a major Windows partner is testing the OS, Asus and Dell are rumors to consider using this OS seriously on their netbooks and MSI is going to showcase its android-based netbook at Computex 2009 in Taiwan.

The reason is very simple and logical: all these laptop makers are trying to cut the price of their netbooks and bring them down about $200. Microsoft charges about $15 on each windows-based netbook unlike Google that offer its Android free of charge. The industry executives have also predicted that “hardware without Microsoft's software could sell for less than $200.”

This serious desire of laptop makers for the OS that many people have already been familiar with because of their cell phones is not only leaving Microsoft in a big challenge, but Intel- the world leading chipmaker will go under a lot of pressure if android becomes popular in netbook segment!

Android-based netbooks can only work with ARM chip designs rather than Atom processors. One Android-based netbook with the name of Alpha-680 Google Android netbook has already been spotted in China pricing about $100! And I am sure we are coming across many Android-based netbooks at Computex Show in June.

In the Q1 2009 , “Intel’s Atom processors and related chipsets experienced a sharper decline than Intel's overall CPU and chipset sales”. VIA Nano and AMD Neo have been launched recently and have started to steal some market share from Intel.

All these evidences show that Intel is going to face a big challenge in 2010 if various Android-based netbooks are released by top laptop makers and unknown companies.

I don’t think that the ruling time of Intel in netbook segment is going to finish but, Surely Microsoft will face serious problem in this segment even after releasing Windows 7. If a Windows is charged for about $400, an android-based will be priced around half of it!

Here, you have to remember two things. First of all, Microsoft gives Internet Explorer and Messenger free with Windows OS. So, many people automatically use these two things. If Google can seriously get some market share of netbooks then I can easily predict that Google will give Chrome and Google Talk free (they are already free) with its Android OS. I think that Google may opt for Open Office or try to build some kind of free Office program by extending its Google Doc facility. Right now, Google Doc is limited to only Internet users. So, I am hoping that with Android OS, Google may feel tempted to give us an offline version of Google Doc.

Last but not least, remember that the core business of Google is search engine. So, I am expecting that Google will give users better search facilities in the netbooks and naturally, Google will arrange that the netbooks’ default search engine will be Google search. This may cause some tension among Yahoo and Microsoft and they may even go to court to stop Google if Google does this kind of thing. Well, I cannot say these things for sure but I feel strongly that this kind of thing may happen as if Android becomes a market leader OS for netbooks then Google may become the Microsoft of laptop world.

Source : laptopcom

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