Why an ASUS Android Netbook?

Would you be more likely to buy a Linux Netbook if it ran the same software as your phone? Would that be insulting to the Netbook, or damning the phone with faint praise?

An Indian Web site has confirmed ASUS is developing a version of its Eee PC Netbook to run Google's Android software.

When I tested Asus' Netbooks last year for my Linux Laptop series I found a lot of uncertainty within the company about distros. The company has not advertised which distro it favors, and the two units that arrived here ran different ones.

This meant I had two completely different procedures for adding software, something ASUS had not mentioned either to me or to customers when it advertised Linux on its Netbooks.

While Ubuntu has made a serious effort to be the distro of choice on Linux Netbooks, with HP and Dell both putting it into the pipeline, ASUS has been notably resistant. Its present move is in keeping with that reticence.

An ASUS executive emphasized to Bloomberg that no product release decisions have been made. But the fact is Android is based on Linux so there is no reason why it could not be grown into a full Linux distro. Journalists have already made the port. Gizmodo is fascinated.

The questions are how far Android engineers want to go in that direction, how far they want to let others go, and whether they would consider it in the project's best interest to have a Netbook version.

Personally I think the better story is what ASUS has against Ubuntu, but that's just me.

Would you be more likely to buy a Linux Netbook if it ran the same software as your phone? Would that be insulting to the Netbook, or damning the phone with faint praise? 

Looks like we're about to find out.