The Wall Street Journal is reporting that several PC manufacturers are exploring the possibility of using the Google Android mobile device OS as a potential OS alternative for netbooks. Global netbook sales have exploded over the past 12 months, with most using Windows XP (and to a lesser extent) a variety of Linux OS distributions.

Despite the fact that Windows XP has a dominant market share in the netbook market, Microsoft doesn't make as much money selling XP on a netbook as it does when it sells Windows Vista on a more expensive laptop. Along with lagging Vista adoption, sluggish desktop PC sales and lower margins on Windows XP licenses pre-installed on netbooks have impacted Microsoft's bottom line.

My colleague Zac Wiggy has already blogged about a successful attempt at running Android on a netbook, and the ease at which the mobile device OS can be adapted to run on netbooks seems to have attracted the interest of PC makers.

We'll post more about Google Android on netbooks as more information becomes available.

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