HP's netbook lineup may pale in comparison to the likes of Acer and Asus, but they are a serious competitor nevertheless. Their devices may have more to offer than just a different name, soon, given that the company has revealed they are considering alternative operating systems
. And no, it's not Ubuntu or a homebrew Linux build, but rather the Google-backed Android OS. The relatively new mobile platform has been considered by many vendors for different hardware, but the follow-through so far has been relatively low.
Regardless of how practical or useful its interface on a netbook would be, the idea sounds cool and innovative as well, considering most manufacturers want to stick to what's tried and true. HP doesn't mention why they are considering Android or what specific feature set they are going for. However, if netbook manufacturers want to lower the price of their devices to make them more attractive, the licensing cost of Windows will become even more of a consideration.
I hope HP does decide to go for an Android based netbook. The worst case scenario for them is finding just what Asus found, in that even with an alternative offering, Windows still dominates
market share on netbooks. Or, perhaps, HP can change that?