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This article was published on November 16, 2010

Google’s Schmidt: Chrome OS is for keyboards, Android is for touch.

Google’s Schmidt: Chrome OS is for keyboards, Android is for touch.
Fraser Smith
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Fraser Smith

Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major ne Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major news publishers. He is also co-owner and editor of edexpat.com the educational resource for international families, teachers and schools. You can contact Fraser via Twitter by following @FrasSmith.

Talking at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt has attempted to settle the confusion between Google’s two operating systems by reaffirming that the upcoming Chrome OS is being developed for devices with physical keyboards where the incumbent Android OS is for touch devices.

Chrome OS, due for release sometime in the next few months was announced by Google in July last year as being a lightweight operating system targeted at netbooks.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web.

The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.

At the time of this announcement, the landscape was a completely different place compared to today.  Apple’s iPad has changed it forever, so, in recent months there has been increasing speculation about where Chrome OS is headed, especially as it’s clear that Android 3.0 will be a more tablet oriented offering.

Schmidt’s comments would appear to confirm that there really hasn’t been any change in direction for Chrome OS.  It’s still aimed firmly at Netbooks, Laptops and maybe even Desktops as a fast booting, secure environment for running web based applications.

Of course, Chrome OS and Android are both open source projects so it will be interesting to see what the open source community makes of the two and whether the differences are blurred in the longer term.

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