Anticipating an influx of Android-powered netbooks to the market, Intel has begun preparations to supply manufacturers with chipsets that will support the platform. Traditionally a Windows and Linux-dominated market, netbooks could benefit greatly from Android’s design as a mobile and small-footprint operating system.
Details are scarce, so it’s not exactly clear what hardware modifications – if any – Intel would need to make to current netbook lines to ensure Android compatibility. Most netbooks today are powered by Intel’s low-power Atom architecture. Android has already been seen running on netbooks in the past, so some think that Intel may not have to change much to break into the Android market.
More and more netbooks are now being shipped with the option of 3G data cards pre-installed, to offer data connectivity on the go. The Android OS is quite the draw in this respect, as it was designed with an always-on connection in mind, and specifically for mobile and embedded platforms. With the Android Market included in the OS, software distribution would also gain a new avenue, and could be leveraged by the manufacturer by offering additional hardware-specific applications through a download-only format.