Why Google Shouldn't Pursue a Touchscreen Chromebook
Is Google preparing to release a Chromebook device with a touchscreen? That concept was reported in a Taiwanese newspaper and discussed by DigiTimes and CNet. The idea isn't out of the realm of possibility. After all, Google has been exploring the touchscreen arena with its Nexus tablets, and Chrome OS includes a touchscreen keyboard. Furthermore, new, low-cost Chromebooks such as Acer's $199 entry (seen here) are arriving at a fast clip. Touchscreen Chromebooks aren't a great new opportunity for Google, though.
Making the leap from the touchscreen keyboard in Chrome OS to a touchscreen device wouldn't take a lot of difficult engineering, but Google is just beginning to get traction with its strategy surrounding low-cost Chromebooks and free incentives that come with them. And, Google is already a player in the low-cost tablet space with its Nexus tablets, where it is doing just fine with the Android operating system and all the apps available for it.
Meanwhile, Apple's iPad maintains a firm grip on the larger tablet space and Google would have to play catch-up to get anywhere near the number of available apps that there are for the iPad.
Google is also just beginning to come to terms with what it is to offer support for hardware and associated software platforms. In this area, Apple and other competitors have much more experience.
If Chromebooks appear to be popular over the holiday season--as Google promotes them heavily on television--then next year may bring opportunities for the company to diversify its hardware strategy. For the time being, though, a large, touchscreen device running Chrome OS will probably just rack up support headaches for Google and confuse application developers.