Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 11 News List

III develops world’s first Android-based notebook

NEW MARKET Micro-Star International plans to launch netbooks based on Google’s operating system at the annual Computex in June, the ‘Commercial Times’ said

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA AND BLOOMBERG

The Institute for Information Industry (III) has developed the world’s first Android-based notebook, which is expected to create enormous business opportunities for Taiwan’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry, an industry report released yesterday said.

Android is a software platform and operating system initially developed by Google and later supported by the Open Handset Alliance to create compelling mobile applications. It is based on an open source Linux kernel.

The successful development of the Android notebook is an important milestone for the notebook market and the products are likely to take a slice of the market, the III’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) said in the report.

The MIC forecast that Taiwanese notebook output this year would rise to 23 million units.

Following the development of Android-based handsets, the government-backed III has also successfully developed several key Android-based software technologies, including a whiteboard equipped with a handwriting recognition program for real-time communication. The whiteboard has a touch screen that allows users to send handwritten messages during long distance teleconferencing.

In addition, the company has developed a mobility-assisted device equipped with handwriting input and map-marking functions that enable users to compile a travelog at any time during a trip.

The Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday that Micro-Star International Co (微星科技), maker of the Wind series of low-cost notebooks, would start selling products using the Android operating system in June.

Micro-Star will launch its first Android netbook, which was co-developed with the III, at the Computex show in Taipei in June, the business daily said, without citing anyone.

The news sent Micro-­­Star shares surging to their highest in more than 10 months yesterday. The stock gained 3 percent to close at NT$22.30, its highest since June, outperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which slid 0.18 percent.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) also plans to unveil an Android netbook at the end of the year, the newspaper said, without citing sources.

In view of the great business potential for Android-based applications, the III will help Taiwanese ICT manufacturers develop more products to better meet consumer demand, the report said.

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