Google Pad: Search Giant Dreams of Chrome OS-based Tablets

Google has conceptual images for what a Chrome OS-based tablet computer user interface might look like at its open source Chromium Projects site.

The images actually went up a couple of days before Apple made its big iPad splash last week. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has followed up that announcement with some tough talk regarding Google and its efforts to horn in on Apple's iPhone business with Android, so Google's tablet efforts are sure to get Jobs' attention as well.

Glen Murphy, a user interface lead on Google Chrome/Chrome OS, this week made note of the Chrome OS tablet images via his blog and Twitter.

Google says some possibilities for a Chrome OS tablet would include keyboard interaction with the screen (a virtual keyboard showing up on the screen), something Apple demoed as well during its iPad launch.

Google showed its Linux-based Chrome OS to the world in November and has described it as being targeted at notebooks, but some say the OS could be ideal for more Web-oriented tablets.

Google has laid out a variety of possible form factors for Chrome OS devices.

Chrome OS stems from the Chrome Web browser, which continues to take share from Microsoft IE and Mozilla Firefox.

Naturally, competition between Google and Apple wouldn't be complete without Microsoft in the tablet mix as well. Microsoft recently showed off its latest tablet, the Slate PC, in conjunction with HP and others.

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