HP considering Android for forthcoming netbooks


Top laptop manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, or HP, has confirmed that it’s testing out Android as a operating system for forthcoming netbooks. Normally the platform is only used in phones, and at the time of writing there’s only one phone on the market that uses it.

Android can work on netbooks, as Venturebeat proved back in January. They had a little difficulty with graphics drivers, but if a user wasn’t rendering much more than websites then it could be very effective and very cheap – a great solution for the netbook industry.

HP has said that it hasn’t made any decisions yet on whether to offer it or not, but it’ll be interesting to see how they fare with it. Other netbook manufacturers will almost certainly be watching, too.

(via PC World)

Windows 7 gets laundry list of changes


Have you been testing out the Windows 7 beta, and clicking that little ‘feedback’ button in the top right of every Window? Well, Microsoft has been listening, and they’ve just announced a massive list of the changes they’ve made as a result of the feedback.

The full list is here, but there’s a few highlights that I’ll share with you if you can’t be bothered to read the whole thing. Firstly, there’s plenty of functionality for making things more obvious on the taskbar, along with keyboard shortcuts. There’s also a multi-touch onscreen keyboard (so you can shift-tap stuff).

There’s better format support too, and anything that can’t be played will be filtered out of Windows Media Player, so it doesn’t bother you. There’s also resuming video from sleep with actual files, like you would with a DVD, and some changes to what the Windows team call ‘needy windows’ – so you can see when a program wants your attention.

The full list is worth a look, because it’s got a lot more detail in. Most of this stuff we’re unlikely to see until release, though. Are you looking forward to it? Is there anything missing that you think needs changing? Let us know in the comments.

MWC 2009: O2 to pay customers to test apps on its app store

O2 announced this morning on the forum of its application store – Litmus – that it would soon be paying customers to test out applications, thanks to a partnership with a company called Mob4Hire.

O2 has 19 million customers, and the ones eligible for the Litmus project will be invited to participate in testing out applications. Customers who help to test an application will receive a free copy once it becomes commercially available, but they’ll also have the opportunity to earn hard cash.

It’s a bit of a complex system that involves bidding for applications. You put a figure on what you think your time is worth, and developers decide whether they think you’re worth it, and if both sides agree, then trialists get paid the pre-agreed amount.

Frequent and helpful testers will increase their “O2 Litmus tester reputation”, though it’s unclear if that’s going to be some sort of rating system, or just a more traditional, ethereal, reputation based on those things we used to have called “feelings”. Remember them?

O2 Litmus is available on the Motorola V3, Nokia N95, O2 Xda Orbit II, Samsung U600 and the Sony Ericsson W910, among others. Nearly 150 apps are available, and you can sign up at the O2 Litmus website.