OPINION: US computing giant Dell has reportedly told news agency Reuters in the last few days that it’s keen to be “one of the leaders” with anything new like Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems and is apparently in talks with the search giant to release Chrome on new netbooks.

The Chrome OS is due for release later this year.

Well, if that’s the case, Dell had better get a move on and actually release some Google-based product.

At this stage, Dell has been one of the few PC vendors to have promoted the use of Linux on its products and for a while there, was preloading its own version of Ubuntu on certain notebooks.

However, when it comes to its ideas of leadership in the field of Android and Chrome, it’s pretty hard to take those ideas seriously when the company has only just released its first Android product – the long awaited Streak MID – and only in the UK as of time of this story. It’s not on sale yet in the US and there’s no timeline for its release in Australia.

Aside from that, yes, it is an Android device – but Dell is only using version 1.6. That means it’s using a version of Android released in August 2009.

Given that version 2.0 (Eclair) was released at the end of October and comes with lots of new goodies from improved performance and HTML5 support to better makes and Microsoft Exchange capabilities, it’s not really leadership material. You can go to many of the Chinese trade websites and pick up an Android tablet running version 1.6 of Google’s OS.

As Cnet also points out, Dell is not listed as one of the Chrome OS’ champions. There are plenty of Dell’s competitors listed – Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba – but no Dell.

If Dell wants to be a leader in an alternative world to Microsoft Windows, good luck to it. But let’s see the company release some Android product worldwide first before we start seeing too many claims.

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