When Google recently announced its upcoming Chrome OS and emphasized that it is headed for netbooks, many people wondered what that would mean for Android. There had been a lot of talk about Android’s prospects on netbooks, but Google’s announcement seemed to make clear that its not-yet-delivered operating system is in fact its own favorite entrant in the netbook race. But that doesn’t mean the Android OS is going to languish outside the smartphone market.
As connectivity finds its way into an increasing number of consumer and business devices, Android’s open-source platform may be a key tool for establishing and growing many emerging devices classes, from set-top boxes to e-books and more.
MIPS Technologies, which is well-known for providing processors and architectures for home entertainment, portable multimedia and communications devices, is moving ahead with a number of initiatives focused on using the Android operating system in the home entertainment and portable multimedia arenas. Company officials say they want to take Android beyond just phone handsets, and two months ago MIPS ported Android to its architecture. Now, the company is making the source code for that port publicly available.
“We are seeing an enormous amount of customer interest in Android on the MIPS architecture,” said Art Swift, vice president of marketing at MIPS, in a statement. “Android presents a compelling value proposition in bringing Internet connectivity and a broad range of applications to MIPS-based digital home devices.”