Google Will Launch Android-Powered gPad

It was inevitable that as soon as Apple's iPad hit the market, every other device manufacturer on the planet would scramble to develop their own. Slightly more surprising, however, is the rumor currently swirling that Google is just inches away from launching its own gPad.

As The New York Times tells us, Google will be entering the pad market in the near future, along with nearly every other big-name manufacturer. Only a few details are mentioned in the Times story, shared by individuals supposedly privy to the secrets but unable to discuss them publicly.

What has been revealed is that the device will run Android — everybody's favorite Linux-based mobile operating system — rather than ChromeOS, the netbook operating system currently under development. As Wired points out, Android has the leg up on ChromeOS, in that it already has a feature set that can easily match Apple's device, and includes touchscreen features out of the box.

The move into pad-computing isn't all that strange, however, given Google's recent interest in developing its own in-house hardware. After two years of developing Android as an operating system for other companies to put on phones, Google launched its own handset in January, along with the promise that more would be on the way. Making the move to pads is a logical — if possibly premature, coming just three months after launching their first phone — next step.

According to the Times, Google is already in talks with publishers to push their content onto the gPad — though one suspects that's an uphill battle on books, given the company's existing issues with that industry. Then again, the prospect of being cut off from millions of paying customers has been known to change a heart and mind or two...

All-in-all, the gPad — or whatever they end up calling it — presents a lot of promise both for consumers in general, and for Open Source. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes on this one.

Image courtesy of The Chromium Projects.

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