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Google starts developing Chrome OS for tablets

Chrome OS, the web based closed source Linux based operating system from Google, is now being developed to work on tablet computers. According to CNET, "details in Google's source code reveal that company programmers have begun building a tablet version". This may not come as a surprise to many as Google had previously released a mockup last year (pictured), however this latest news shows that a release will happen, although we are not sure when.

Chrome OS is different from the open source Chromium OS, launched in 2009, in that it is closed source and only developed by Google, unlike Chromium which can be compiled by anyone from the widely available source code. The closed version was originally meant to be released on specific hardware last year, however various reports have said the release will be delayed until mid 2011.

So far Google have acknowledged the news but would not talk about any specific details, instead they said "We are engaging in early open-source work for the tablet form factor, but we have nothing new to announce at this time", and explained how a tablet version is not a priority at the moment, "Chrome OS was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of form factors. We expect to see different partners build different kinds of devices based on Chrome OS, but for this initial release we are targeting the notebook form factor."

CNET listed a few points which show further proof of the development, these include finding a specific "user-agent string" in the source which would allow sites to see which version of a website needs to be produced, either touch-based or traditional mouse-based and  a "virtual keyboard with a number of keys--tab, delete, microphone, return, and shift" which shows obvious signs that a touch screen version is in the pipeline.

Image Credit: CNET

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