What Do Google Android Netbooks Mean For Microsoft And Apple? (GOOG)
. . . "It's no secret that Google (GOOG) is hoping its Android operating system can be useful for more than just mobile phones. So it makes sense that Google would want to get Android on 'netbook' laptops -- small, lo-fi computers that companies like Dell (DELL), HP (HPQ), Acer, and Asus are selling like hotcakes to geeks and early adopter-types.
If that happens, and Google-powered computers take off, Microsoft is the biggest loser. Early netbooks ran Linux, but today's best sellers run Windows. For instance, the 10 top-selling laptops on Amazon (AMZN) right now are netbooks running Windows XP Home. While selling an XP Home license likely isn't as valuable to Microsoft as selling a Vista Ultimate license, it'd still be losing some potential license sales. And if netbooks start cannibalizing real laptop sales, Microsoft stands to lose market share, too.
What about Apple? The company hasn't joined the netbook market yet -- unless you count the iPod touch, or maybe the iPhone -- but will supposedly start selling larger tablet computers sometime next year. We see no reason why a Google-powered netbook would necessarily be better than an Apple-powered netbook. But they could be cheaper."