Google Android-based Eee PC in the works

Asus is working on an Eee PC that runs using Google's Android platform.

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Asus is working on an Eee PC that runs using Google's Android platform.

The Eee PC range is a collection of 'netbooks' or stripped-down laptops that are ideal for surfing the web on the go. They have proved very successful for Asus and a number of PC manufacturers including Dell and HP have released products designed to rival the success of the Eee PC.

But now Asus is looking at a new variation based on a Google platform that's currently been used in only mobile phones. Samson Hu, head of the Asus's Eee PC business, told Bloomberg, it had dedicated engineers working on developing an Android-based netbook, which could be on the market as early as the end of 2009.

However, Hu also revealed that the company said it hasn't decided whether it will launch the final product.

Android is Google's free operating system, and is probably most well-known for its appearance in the T-Mobile G1 smartphone, manufactured by HTC. HTC announced at this year's Mobile World Congress it was planning to launch another handset, the HTC Magic, which also runs Google Android.

Calvin Huang, a computer-industry analyst at Daiwa Securities Group, told Bloomberg: "With the strength of Google behind it, Android could really challenge Microsoft and steal some market share,".

"The benefit is the free licence and you can use a lower-power, cheaper processor."

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