When a company says they’re working on an Android netbook, people make assumptions: they’ll come up with a fresh UI; they’ll cater the netbook’s hardware to Google’s lightweight OS; they’ll make it cheap. Acer is doing none of these things.
Their Android netbook will actually be a Windows XP netbook, in that it’ll ship in a dual-boot configuration. This sounds harmless enough, but it’s not:
[Acer Chairman]Wang pointed out that the dual-OS strategy is much safer for Acer since consumer acceptance of the Android platform is unclear for the time being…Acer will be able to promote Android as a value-added feature, similar to Asustek Computer’s Express Gate, to account for any price premium.
To characterise Android as a value-added feature is to miss the point entirely, the point being that Android is free, and XP is not. Bundling a gimpy, largely untouched version of Android into an existing netbook relegates the OS to novelty status, which isn’t what we—or any other netbook watchers—had in mind earlier this week. [Digitimes]