Technically, it is interesting to see an EeePC running Google’s Andriod software. There are advantages: smaller foot print, better power management and definitely easier to modify than other operating systems so far to fit the computer since an EeePC is likely to have more resources than you most high spec glorified PDA, i.e., smartphone). That is why Brighthand’s report on Asus working on an Andriod-powered Eee PC is interesting.
The business side of me thinks that the product stands a chance of becoming a reality. I believe one model will go to market, if only to test whether there is a market for it. However, I still feel that it is going more as a tool to put pressure on Microsoft and other vendors to lower their price.
Microsoft is known to compete really agressively if need be. It is part of the strength of that company that it reverse its decision really quickly if it senses that it might be losing. Witness the resurrection of Windows XP from death and the price slash for this market segment.
Asus might be hoping to repeat this feat again. To do this it must have a credible threat. This means ability to put other operating systems on their computers. First stop? Building up expertise in using alternative operating systems. It started with Linux, now it is trying its hand on Android. That is why the management tolerate experimentation with other operating systems, given the threat to other lines of more expensive PC Asus sells that Microsoft can put to bear.
It is a risky game for a hardware builder to antagonise its major and bigger supplier, but might just succeed. If any, might put a cross hair on itself as a Microsoft acquisition target to get it out of business and protect Microsoft’s interest. Business is business and that is certainly a good way to go out of business, as far as shareholders are concerned.