While it’s true that CES this year was pretty uneventful, we can gather at least one thing. Touchscreens are fast becoming the staple of the industry in all markets, including the PC market.
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The Windows 8 platform is a shining example of PCs being equipped with a touchscreen, especially considering the OS is exclusively optimized for touchscreen use. This is a smart move by Microsoft because most consumers are buying into the tablet scene now. A desktop or laptop PC that works similar to a tablet would surely be a blessing in the current market, right?
Ultimately, touchscreens were the central theme at CES this year, and many manufacturers showed off different ways to use the technology. Vizio, for example, showed off some all-in-one desktop computers that housed everything in the monitor, which also doubled as a touchscreen display. Vizio wasn’t the only company showing off similar tech, there was a lot of it at CES.
This is certainly good news for Google, and Android as a whole. As the desktop and laptop world make a move into touchscreen territory, it opens up new opportunities for the mobile operating system. Imagine owning an all-in-one system running the latest Android OS. Even better, you probably wouldn’t have to worry about manufacturer skinning, and you could see the latest updates to the OS on your machine, much faster.
While no one can be sure what would happen if Google and Android entered the notebook and desktop business, we can all be sure of one thing. If Android did make the leap into the PC world, it would most certainly bring along a hugely dedicated group of users. It would undeniably be appealing to have the same environment running on all of your devices because that just makes using them more convenient.
Android is currently dominating Microsoft in the tablet and smartphone market, so it would also be fascinating to see how things pan out in the desktop and notebook world.
Then again, Google hasn’t quite met with success in regards to its line of Chrome notebooks. Although, the problem could be attributed to the fact that the Chrome OS is not based on Android, at all, and instead uses a shell of the Google Chrome web browser as its primary operating interface. You could rightfully say that Google dropped the ball here as the Chromebook scene has yet to catch on in a big way.
It’s likely that Google is looking to make the move into the PC market already, evidence can be seen in various decisions the company has made in the past. Just last year, for example, Google filed for a single patent that involved mapping notable Android gestures to a mouse trackpad. It’s hard to believe that with the recent shift in the industry to touchscreen displays, Google would choose to use a trackpad instead. In fact, this would be the perfect opportunity for Google to take on Microsoft in an all out war.
Several projects already exist that use Android as the chief OS for a desktop PC. The VIA APC, for example, was developed as an alternative to the Raspberry Pi (a surprisingly tiny Linux based PC). The idea with the APC is that it’s compact and extremely moddable. You can purchase a unique case for the barebones, or you can make one yourself.
Of course, the VIA APC still uses the traditional mouse and keyboard interface. The main point here is that it’s a portable desktop running the Android OS, and it proves more Android based PCs could be coming in the near future.
It is certainly difficult to imagine what the future would hold if Google dominated the entire industry. At this point in time, however, it looks like that could be a very real possibility.
If an Android desktop or laptop did show up on the market, would you be interested? Are you happy with your current setup, or would you much rather be using the same platform on all of your devices? Sound off in the comments below!