A dual-boot netbook is due to launch in August which will offer users the chance to use both Android and Windows XP according to their requirements at the time.
As reported over on Digitimes
– quoting a Chinese-language Apple Daily report on the matter – Acer is looking to hit an August launch date for the first official dual-boot netbook from a major manufacturer.
The device will be shipped with both Windows XP – as is de rigueur
for netbooks these days – and Google's Android platform, a Linux-based operating system which was originally developed for mobile 'phones but is seeing rapidly growing interest from netbook manufacturers – despite some initial doubts
as to its suitability from the very company now looking to implement it.
While Acer is clearly not ready to take the plunge and offer a fully Android-based netbook, the dual-boot option offers an interesting compromise: while the user will get the compatibility with commercial software – and games, in as much as a netbook with weedy integrated graphics is suitable for gaming – offered by Windows XP, the Android boot option will give it a much faster start-up time for web browsing and e-mail functionality while potentially offering access to the Android Market and all the applications therein.
The move comes as rivals Asus – creators of the original Eee PC – and Micro-Star International are developing netbooks believed to be single-boot Android devices, which have the potential to hit the market at a lower price than Acer's latest offering owing to the requirement for a Windows XP licence on the dual-boot version; neither company are believed to be aiming for a launch date much before 2010, however.
This latest device is likely to only improve new figures from the NPD Group's DisplaySearch arm – as quoted by Electronista
– which predict that netbook shipments will double this year to account for a not-unimpressive 25.3 percent of the global portable computing market. This is even higher than the group previously predicted
back in April, and shows a still-growing demand for the diminutive devices.
Does the thought of an Android/Windows XP dual-boot netbook get your interest, or should Acer quit hedging their bets and offer an Android-only device at a discount? Share your thoughts over in the forums