“Details in Google’s source code reveal that company programmers have begun building a tablet version,” reports CNeT. This mayn’t surprise to many, given that Google created mock-ups of a Chrome OS tablet more than a year ago. But it does indicate that a tablet incarnation of Google’s Web-app operating system is a near-term priority, not just an idea.
Chrome OS is different from the open source Chromium OS, launched in 2009, in that it’s closed source and only developed by Google, unlike Chromium which can be compiled by anyone from the widely available source code. The closed version was originally meant to be released on specific hardware last year, however various reports have said the release will be delayed until mid 2011.
Google has acknowledged the tablet version of Chrome OS but wouldn’t discuss details such as when the project’s first version will be done. “We’re engaging in early open-source work for the tablet form factor, but we’ve nothing new to announce at this time.”
Chrome OS tablets, though, aren’t first on the list, the company said: “Chrome OS was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of form factors. We expect to see different partners build different kinds of devices based on Chrome OS, but for this initial release we’re targeting the notebook form factor.”
CNET also listed few points which show further proof of the development, these include finding a specific “user-agent string” in the source which would allow sites to see which version of a website needs to be produced, either touch-based or traditional mouse-based and a “virtual keyboard with a number of keys–tab, delete, microphone, return, and shift” which shows obvious signs that a touch screen version is in the pipeline.