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Google, Microsoft Square Off on Netbooks

H-P is considering Google's Android OS for its new crop of netbooks.

Updated from March 31.

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ)

is considering

Google's

(GOOG)

Android operating system to power some of its netbooks.

"We are indeed studying it," said an H-P representative. The development had been reported earlier in

The Wall Street Journal

.

The move would be a big win for Google in the growing netbook segment and would also serve to further loosen

Microsoft's

(MSFT)

grip on yet another new product area. The news comes just months after

Motorola

(MOT)

announced it was

building all its new smartphones

with Android operating systems this year.

Microsoft's Windows XP had previously battled exclusively with Linux for installation in netbooks.

Netbooks are stripped down laptops that generally sell for under $400. In a recent check, nine out of the top 10 computers sold on Amazon's bestseller list were netbooks.

The growth of netbooks has attracted

Apple

(AAPL)

to the game. The Mac maker is reported working on a

touchscreen version

of the device.