Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Google says Chrome OS coming to handhelds, tablets, TVs

updated 06:55 pm EST, Thu November 25, 2010

Chrome OS to go to handhelds and TVs

Google's VP of engineering for Chrome Linus Upson in an interview late Wednesday called out his company's plans to expand Chrome OS beyond netbooks. The web app platform was designed for traditional compute design, he acknowledged, but it had the potential to be an alternate to Android on small-sized devices and Google TV on very large screens. It would eventually have touch since tablets are also in the long-term plans, Upson told the New York Times.

"We are starting with laptops and we will expand in both directions," he said.

The statements directly contradict those of CEO Eric Schmidt, who at the Web 2.0 Summit declared Chrome OS unfit for touch and primarily bound to the keyboard. However, the statements were vague on whether he saw it as a permanent design rift or a short-term limitation. Google has shown mockups of what a Chrome OS tablet might look like (pictured here) but has never added code to the open source Chromium OS that would clearly point to a touchscreen.

An expansion into other areas may represent a need to justify Chrome OS in the middle of a changing landscape. Netbooks were at their height when the software was previewed in late 2009, but the launch of the iPad in April combined with a lack of Intel Atom updates led to netbooks demand cooling rapidly, to the point where even one Microsoft executive acknowledged that iPads were hurting the category. Android at the time was still only thought of as a phone OS, but it's now being used on tablets like the Galaxy Tab and should be optimized for tablets and other touchscreen devices once Honeycomb (Android 3.0) is public.

Upson's positioning of Chrome OS in its non-touch version may have alluded to a change in marketing strategy that would focus on corporate buyers rather than the home. As much as 60 percent of workplaces could switch away from traditional platforms like Mac OS X or Windows, he said, since many company PCs don't need the storage and locally stored software but could instead rely primarily on the web. The use of cloud-based apps could also reduce the need for local IT administrators, since updates for apps like Google Docs or Office.com will automatically go out instead of needing patches and other local maintenance. A Chrome OS computer can run on as little as an 8GB SSD and has a very low overall performance demand with a core that relies almost exclusively on a browser.

It's unclear how Google would promote Chrome OS for mobile. The slower connections and less powerful hardware makes them more dependent on native apps to work efficiently. The last tablet to focus primarily on the web, Fusion Garage's JooJoo, struggled in the market and is switching to Android to put more attention on native apps.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. sammaffei

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004

    +2

    And...

    toilets and lunch boxes and vibrators and... Chrome OS will be everywhere! No one will care!

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +4

    Obsolete

    Does that mean Android is already obsolete?

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Razer Kraken Pro headset

Gaming headphones are a challenge to get right, for a long list of reasons that are unique to the consumer buying them. Some shoppers ...

Patriot Aero Wireless Mobile Drive

Regardless of how large a tablet you buy, you always want more space. There's always one more movie or another album you'd cram on, if ...

Patriot Fuel+ 6000 and 9000mAh batteries

Mobile device batteries are better than they used to be, but there's always a scenario where users could use more juice. Upgrade manuf ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News