Google's new Chrome OS cloud-based operating system is about to make its first appearance, not on netbooks, as was first thought, but on tablet devices instead.
Engadget are reportingthat smartphone maker HTC are building the device which will sport a 1280x720 multi-touch screen, 2Gb of RAM and a minimum of 32Gb hard disk storage. It's also possible that the tablet will also sport a webcam, GPS, 3G and Wireless G and N.
What's not clear is if the device will be hardware crippled in any way that would prevent a user from installing another operating system, Windows 7, Ubuntu or Android for instance, as the main OS or in a dual-boot configuration. Certainly a minimum of 32Gb of storage would allow for this. It would also make the tablet much improved because the main problem with a cloud-based OS is that it's only usable if you have an active and stable net connection.
This, presumably, is why Google have partnered with Verizon as a distributor. It can only serve to put yet more strain on the mobile phone networks though, who have already been complaining that their infrastructure is creaking under the bandwidth-hungry data plans for other tablets such as the iPad. A completely cloud-based OS can only make this situation worse.
The price? It's possible that the device could come completely free on a monthly data plan, though there is no confirmation of this at this time. Certainly this is where HTC's expertise would come in, in building the tablet down to a price.
The device is rumoured to launch on November 26th in the US.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.