The China Commercial Times (Chinese language link) reports that Google has placed hardware orders with Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to produce a Chromebook with a 12.85-inch touch display. Could this be the start of Google merging Android and Chrome OS?
Chromebooks are lightweight laptop and desktop devices that use the Chrome Web browser for their primary interface, with Linux on the back end. There’s really no reason why they couldn’t use Android to support the Chrome interface. Indeed, Chrome is now the default Web browser for Android 4.x and higher.
While Chromebooks don’t get as many headlines as Microsoft Surface and Apple iPads, the devices are quite popular. For example, Samsung’s ARM-powered Chromebook is Amazon’s top-selling laptop computer, as of November 27th. At the same time, Android now owns 72% of the entire mobile devices market–not just smartphones.
What would you get if you put these Android and Chrome OS together in a touch-enabled laptop? You might well get Windows’ true desktop successor.