Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn’t content to simply attack
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) desktop hegemonies with
Chrome Operating System, the company’s lightweight Web operating system for
A recent patent filing by the search engine giant hints
that It might build desktops and laptops based on its Android software, which
to this point has been limited to smartphones, tablets, and the occasional
household appliance or other odd device implementations.
Patently Apple said Google’s new patent suggests similar functionalities from
Apple’s Multi-Touch Trackpad and Magic Trackpad. That is, capabilities for
trackpad operations corresponding to touchscreen events.
Specifically, trackpad operations may be directly mapped
to touchscreen events and processed by applications. In one implementation a user
may move a single finger on the trackpad device to cause a displayed pointer to
move on a display device of the computing device.
The user may also touch or tap a single finger on the
trackpad device to deliver a simulated touchscreen finger tap at the current
pointer location as displayed on the display device.
Patently Apple showed a
diagram from Google’s patent depicting a computing device that may be
configured to map trackpad operations to corresponding touchscreen events.
As one would imagine, the multi-touch trackpad
instantiation would work similar to the trackpad, albeit with two fingers
instead of one. Users could drag, scroll, fling or even pinch-to-zoom content
much as they would on a tablet computer. However, this technology would also be
used in netbook and laptops.
Patently Apple speculated that Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) could expand
its support for Android beyond smartphones to power Ultrabooks with its
“Haswell” processor chips, designed to create harmony between
notebooks and tablets, in 2013.
A Google spokesperson was noncommittal about the patent
filing, telling eWEEK: “We file patent applications on a variety of ideas
that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real
products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not
necessarily be inferred from our patent applications.”
IDC analyst Al Hilwa said mobile and desktops are
converging, with the real battle being fought between congruent end-to-end
developer and device ecosystems built around these platforms. Ultimately, this
means Google , Apple and Microsoft will be stomping around in each other’s sandboxes.
“I have no doubt that Google will eventually push
Android harder into other form factors,” Hilwa told eWEEK.
device makers and developers would love this opportunity to expand their reach
and leverage their invested skills. Chrome OS may be seen as a play in this
area, but it’s pure Web approach does not really leverage the app economy in
the same way Android does. In many ways you are seeing Google respond to
Microsoft’s serious effort to take the PC into the mobile world by moving
Android to the PC world.”
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