Software developer jumps the gun on Dell Android Netbook?

Bsquare says it's putting Adobe Flash Lite on Dell's Android Netbook. What Dell Android Netbook?

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg
2 min read

Mobile software developer Bsquare announced Wednesday that it will port Adobe Flash Lite to Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook. One problem: Dell has yet to announce any Android Netbooks in its arsenal.

Dell Android Netbook
Is the Mini 9 Dell's first Android Netbook? Dell

Apparently, what we have here is a little public relations mixup. The Bsquare press release issued Wednesday morning trumpets how Dell "Leverages Bsquare's Android competency to improve the Adobe Flash Lite experience on Dell's Mini Inspiron 910." But when contacted for more information about this Android-bearing Mini 9, a Dell representative said repeatedly that "Dell does not make an Android Netbook." The Bsquare press release "erroneously mentioned Dell's name" and is being recalled, Dell said.

There's obviously something more than random error involved here. It's not as though there was a list of companies Bsquare was bragging about working with. The subject of the press release was Dell.

So even though Dell doesn't want to talk about it, this is a pretty good indication that an Android Netbook is close to being announced. It has been rumored for a few months that they've been testing Google's mobile operating system down there in Round Rock, Texas, for the oft-discussed-but-not-officially-announced smartphone. So while it wouldn't be surprising for Dell to make Android available as an option on a Netbook, it would be surprising if they were first. Dell has a habit of sitting back and watching technology trends play out a bit before embracing them.

And the idea of Android, an open-source OS for phones, being a good match for small, low-power notebooks is certainly trendy these days.

Other major Netbook makers have also been rumored to be testing Android. HP is apparently looking at it, as are Asus and Acer. But the first company officially linked to putting Android on a Netbook is China's Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies, which said last week it will release a product for $250 in the next three months.