With the press announcement of the Apple iPad come and gone, the fallout finally settling down, now there’s rumours beginning to arise of a potential Google ‘Chrome OS Tablet’. The rumours emerge from within Google themselves as they have shown mockups of such a device on a developer site.
With the release of the web-based Google Chrome operating system growing ever imminent, the world has been pondering over what the ideal device for the OS is. Originally, it was seen as the perfect netbook OS. A lightweight, web based OS would be a perfect fit for lower end netbooks which don’t possess the required power to get the best of Windows 7. Obviously netbooks are still in with a shout as Acer are apparently planning to release a Chrome OS netbook later this year.
However, a Google Tablet could perhaps be a more suitable option for the OS. With a main apps screen similar to the iPhone or the iPad, it’s likely you will be able to access areas such as Google Mail, Calendars, Maps, Docs etc. with one touch of a flush touch screen which is a lot easier than navigating using a tricky trackpad and miniature keyboard I guess.
Clearly, nothing is set in stone at the moment, these are simply mockups but the projection is mouth watering. With Google intent to establish them as a dominant force in the computing industry, they will no doubt be desperate to impress, especially following the mixed if not poor reception received by the Apple iPad.
Of course, there are other rumoured tablet devices such as the HP Slate/Microsoft Courier Tablet, as well as the iPad itself. Along with a host of Archos devices including the flagship Windows 7 based machine; the Archos 9, which has proved fairly popular with early tablet enthusiasts, but what would you want in a Windows 7 Tablet PC?
A statement on the open source development site for Chrome, Chromium says “While its primary focus is netbooks, Google Chrome OS could eventually scale to a wide variety of devices. Each would have vastly different input methods, available screen space, and processing power.” To me this sounds a lot like they are aiming for a huge rivalry with Microsoft in the portable PC market rather than trying to compete with Apple and their tablet device.
Chrome OS is not one for desktops I’m sure, but for the portable market such as netbooks, small notebooks and especially tablets, the suitability is ideal from what I have seen so far in the testing phases of the OS. Nobody wants to be trawling through menu after menu, folder after folder on a tablet device, it simply isn’t practical.
For this reason alone I believe this to be a far greater alternative in terms of usability than any standard Windows device. I believe that to be successful in the tablet industry, Microsoft will need to create a modified version of Windows such as Apple have done for the iPhone, iPad and even what they themselves have done with Windows Mobile.
The Google Chrome internet browser is growing ever more popular across the platforms so marketing of the OS is not going to be especially difficult I imagine. This is where I believe it to have an advantage over any Linux distribution.
We’ll have to wait and see what develops in what is sure to be an extremely exciting 2010 with regards to mobile technology and computing. Both Microsoft and Apple are likely to face stiff competition from Google, so what will they do to rise to the challenge? Would you be interested in having a Google Chrome tablet device?