There was always talk of using Android as a netbook OS (a “smartbook”) but until that comes along we’ll have to settle for Android as an instant-on OS. In today’s example – the Acer Aspire One AOD250 dual-boots Android and Windows XP. The Android experience is sub-par but the important thing here is that Android runs on a x86 CPU at all.
The main issue with this version of Android is that it’s an unofficial port, at least as far as Google is concerned. That means no Gmail and no Android Market. Since these are the two major disadvantages, it all seems a little pointless. Oh, and it seems that Acer couldn’t pull off what HTC did – bring Flash support to the Android browser – they opted for Firefox. Yep, you read that right – Firefox.
Or rather a port of an alpha version of the Linux Firefox – these early versions don’t even come with the Firefox title, they use “Minefield” instead (that should be an indication enough that it’s not ready for prime time-yet). At any rate, Android seems to handle native-code applications well, but we wouldn’t get our hopes up for Firefox ever making it to mobile phones.
So, it’s not all perfect, but you get Google Contacts and you can use Gmail through Firefox, which reportedly ran without hiccups. Still, the whole thing looks undercooked but thanks to the backup/update utility you get in XP, updating the Android OS should be pretty painless.
Booting into Windows XP, turns the AOD250 brings the familiar netbook experience, so there’s not much to say about that.