A couple folks from a startup known as Mobile-facts managed to port Android to the ASUS Eee PC 1000H in only four hours. All of the netbooks hardware was up and running including graphics, sound, and a wireless card for the internet.
The two responsible for the feat, Matthaus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartman, believe that the simplicity of installing Android onto the Eee PC will likely translate to Android-powered mass market netbooks by 2010. I would have to agree with them. Several members of the Android-supporting Open Handset Alliance are involved in supplying hardware for netbooks including Intel, and with the explosive popularity of netbooks lately it would make sense that companies would choose a low-cost, flexible and powerful operating system to include with their offerings. And, as the two programmers point out, Google’s Chrome browser will likely play a big part in this as well.
I’ve always believed that Chrome was developed to eventually be used mainly for mobile devices. But Google has a much larger user base to leverage in the browsers development via the desktop internet. This is the same approach Mozilla is taking with its mobile Fennec browser.
I’m sure 2009 will be a year with the odd Android-powered netbook hitting the market. But 2010 for a more mainstream yield–probably.