Google Android OS on the Acer Aspire One

Earlier tonight I was at the mall and I saw a really neat little netbook called an Acer Aspire One.  It had good specs, like a 1.66 ghz processor, 250 gb HDD, 1 GB of RAM, a 10″ screen, etc.  Basically, everything you need for a good little netbook.

Then I noticed a little green guy on one of the stickers and read it and got excited.  It said that the laptop could dual boot between Windows 7 and Android OS.  I was thinking, ‘Hey, that’s not supposed to be out yet.’  I’d remembered seeing a post on a tech bog recently about a link to a downloadable version of Google’s OS that turned out to be a fake.

When you live in the US you always hear about how Asia has bad ass tech that’s always out earlier and cheaper than what you can get in the US, so I was surprised but not really surprised.  (Keep reading).  I haven’t really found that to be true so far, but it is true that you can usually get electronics cheaper in Asia, especially in Singapore.  Singapore has ‘IT’ fairs every 3 months at the SunTec convention center and there are generally some good deals there.  It’s mostly clearing inventory, so what you get isn’t cutting edge, but it’s great deals nonetheless.  Anyway, back to the netbooks…

I got so excited that I took these photos:

Later I realized something that made me sad.  Google has two OSes they’re working on.  One is called Android and one is called Chrome.  The Android OS is supposed to be for phones, while Chrome is supposed to be their desktop OS.  Chrome is the one that’s not out yet, and I at first got confused and thought this laptop had Chrome on it.

So, the operating system on the laptop is actually the phone software.  That’s really confusing and I remember reading that people were wondering why Google was working on two separate OSes in the first place.  I think people were generally going with the idea that Google should have done things the way Apple did, with OS X running the iPhones.  I did read that Android boots up fast, in 18 seconds, but that doesn’t mean much to me.  Ubuntu 9.10 boots up fast too and I’m sure it has more support and available programs than a phone OS.  Netbook or not, I expect it to be able to do more than JUST browse web pages and compose e-mail, especially with a hard drive that big.

It’s annoying that they would put a phone OS on a laptop, but I guess they’re going for the whole ‘cool’ factor to help with promoting the product to potential customers.  If I bought it, I’d give it a try, but I have a feeling I’d wind up installing Ubuntu on that partition, at least until an official version of Google Chrome OS comes out.

(Geek trivia: You might be getting geeky when you start talking about swapping out OSes like other people swap out shoes.)

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