Google conducting Netbook usability study

Future Google applications might have Netbooks in mind following the results of a usability study to be conducted next week in the Bay Area.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
Google is seeking users of Netbooks, such as Asus' Eee PC, for a usability study. Asus

Google is soliciting Netbook users for a usability study, as rumors of Android-powered Netbooks continue to grow.

Google posted an ad on Craigslist Thursday afternoon seeking Netbook users to participate in a Google-hosted study on Netbook usability next week. The company plans to ask participants to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and it will pay them $75 in American Express gift checks for an hour of their time.

On Thursday, CEO Eric Schmidt would not confirm persistent rumors that various PC companies are studying the use of Google's mobile operating system Android on Netbooks. But he did say that "the Netbook phenomenon looks very real," and that Google needs to make sure its various Web services work on Netbooks as those devices grow.

It appears the company is designing new Netbook-friendly applications that appeal to that subset of PC users, or improving existing ones to work on computers with a screen size in between that of a smartphone and laptop. In addition, although Google said right from the start that Android was not an operating system designed exclusively for phones, it might need a few tweaks to be Netbook-friendly.