Well, we saw this coming: Netbook star Asus is allocating engineers towards making computers powered by Google (GOOG) Android.
While Asus is still hedging about what “may” come, we could see Android notebooks as early as year-end, in time for the holiday rush. Which is the same time we’re expecting the debut of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 7.
Hard not to see an Android push into the netbook space as anything other than a bullseye painted on Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft already has some competition from Linux on the cheapest of netbooks, and the first Android PCs probably will compete against Linux than Windows 7 (or Windows XP, if there’s still XP netbooks by winter.)
But once Google gets its toehold, expect Android — well integrated with things like Office-competitor Google Apps — to quickly become a bigger and bigger threat at the entire low end of the market.