May 6th, 2009

dell-android-netbookIn a total PR fubarring, BSQUARE has published a Press Release touting their accomplishment of “porting Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google’s Android platform,” and specifically mentioning “the ultra-portable Dell Mini Inspiron 910”. The Press Release has since been pulled from BSQUARE’s website and Dell has given the vague statement amounting to “We do not make Android Netbooks”.

Fortunately, Google Cache doesn’t lie and Yahoo Finance still has the article up for your Android loving eyes (at least for now). Just in case, we’ve posted the full text from the Press Release below:

BELLEVUE, WA–(MARKET WIRE)–May 6, 2009 — Bsquare Corporation (BSQR – News), the leading software solutions provider to the global embedded device community, today announced it is porting Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google’s Android platform.

Adobe is a leader in rich internet and user interface technology for mobile devices. Flash technology ships on over 800 million devices worldwide with more than one million designers and developers using Adobe Flash to build video and rich media applications.

Netbook and Nettop computers offer the functionality and efficiency of traditional laptops, but with lighter weight and better portability. Research firm Gartner estimates that worldwide shipments of netbooks will increase by 50 percent to 7.8 million units in 2009, while overall computer sales are expected to decline. Industry analysts also predict that Android will gain traction on smart devices, such as the ultra-portable Dell Mini Inspiron 910, which are used in a range of industries.

“Integrating Adobe Flash technology with the functionality of Google’s Android platform on the full range of Netbook devices will allow our OEM customers to meet the high expectations their customers have of this new industry segment,” said Bsquare’s CEO Brian Crowley. “As the Netbook and Nettop market segments expand, our Adobe Flash Lite port to Android is just one of the software products we will offer our OEM and ODM customers.”

In the last 12 months since its acquisition of NEC America’s Adobe Flash Technology Consulting and Distribution business, Bsquare has worked on over 40 different customer devices including handsets, set top boxes, digital signage, consumer devices and netbooks. Bsquare has built an Android competency in its professional engineering services group through customer engagements and by hiring top talent in the field.

About Bsquare

Bsquare is an industry leader with a proven track record in providing engineering services and production-ready software products for the smart device market. Since 1994, Bsquare has provided device manufacturers with software solutions for personal navigation devices, point-of-sale terminals, handheld data terminals, smart phones and many other device categories allowing them to get to market more quickly and cost effectively. Bsquare acquired the TestQuest testing automation tools in November 2008. The combination of TestQuest’s testing automation products and Bsquare’s industry leading software and hardware products and services offer the best of class device development solutions to the embedded and mobile device development community. Now device developers building consumer mobile or vertically targeted embedded devices can rely on the highest quality development expertise from Bsquare, plus the most feature rich testing automation tools from TestQuest, to accelerate their devices to market while minimizing development costs and errors. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.

Make no mistake, this WAS no mistake… at least if you ask me. BSQUARE jumped the gun in promoting their own triumph without cross checking the details to ensure the other stakeholders were ready to accomodate the published details. They were not. But it appears too late now as we know that a Dell Android Netbook is likely on the way.

Will the Dell Mini Inspiron 910 run Android? Probably not… the Dell Mini Inspiron 910 was likely just referenced as a successful product in the netbook category. But who are we to judge? Any way you look at it, we will be waiting eagerly for the smoke to clear and hopefully this urges Dell to make a formal announcement sooner rather than later.

What do you think? Honest mistake and Dell doesn’t have an Android Netbook coming in the near future? PR accident that will be covered up until Dell is ready to announce?

UPDATE: I guess the other possibility is that BSQUARE hacked their own version of Android onto a Dell Netbook and are reporting their success porting flash to THAT device. But I think the retraction of the Press Release might say more than the Press Release itself.

[Thanks Wayne!]

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