Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Thursday predicted good times ahead for Google Android, the company's mobile phone OS and software.

"Overall, it looks like Android is going to have a very strong year," he said during the company's first quarter investors' conference.

New announcements of Android-related products and partnerships with mobile phone service providers and device makers will be "quite significant" this year, he said.

One new area for Android will be in netbooks, the mini-laptops that have become popular over the past year.

Companies such as HP have started putting Android into netbooks and other mobile internet devices largely on their own, not at Google's prodding, he said.

Taiwan's Asus, which pioneered commercial netbooks, is also rumoured to be working on an Eee PC netbook that uses Android as its OS, while other Taiwanese companies are also reportedly developing such products.

Android could become the first real challenger to Microsoft's Windows XP in netbooks.

Chip giant Intel expects Microsoft to release at least two versions of its new OS, Windows 7, for netbooks later this year.

HTC developed the first smartphone around Android, the T-Mobile G1, or as HTC calls it, the Dream.

See the T-Mobile G1 in action on PC Advisor TV.

T-Mobile G1 video review