Google’s Chrome OS says no to tablets

A high-ranking Google exec has reiterated that the web-centric Chrome OS – currently targeted at notebook computers – will not be migrating to tablets any time soon.

“[Yes], Chrome OS is a computer model designed with various form factors in mind,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Chrome, told a news conference in Taipei.

“[However], we are entirely focused on the notebook form factor for now… [As such], we have no other plans at this time.”

Pichai also dismissed speculation about Mountain View merging Chrome OS with its wildly popular mobile Android operating system, which is coded specifically for tablets and smartphones.

“We think it’s distinctive of all other operating systems out there, so there are no current plan to converge this with anything else.”

However, Steve Hodgkinson, IT research director for Asia Pacific at research firm Ovum, expressed skepticism over Chrome’s (initial) ability to capture significant market share from other industry heavyweights such as Apple and Microsoft.

“The big issue is whether Google has the marketing nous and focus to position the Chrome PC to compete head on with the established full-OS laptop and tablet players in the consumer computing market,” Hodgkinson told Reuters.

“This will take a lot of investment in software development and marketing, and the danger is that the Chrome PC just kind of falls between the cracks – not quite a smartphone/tablet and not quite a full OS laptop.”