Google has moved to clarify its position on Chrome OS for tablets – with the company telling TechRadar that it is not ruling out its hardware partners adapting the operating system for touch-screens.

Google has been consistent in its assertions that Chrome OS – at least in its first public incarnation – is designed for small laptops and netbooks.

However, although a recent conversation with TechRadar underlined this once more, the company is keen to clarify that it is not as simple as considering that its Android OS is for touchscreens (ie phones and tablets) and Chrome OS for netbooks and laptops.

"Chrome OS has been designed from the outset to work across a variety of form factors, but for this initial release, we've decided to focus on the notebook/laptop form factor," a spokesperson told TechRadar.

"As you know, Samsung and Acer have already announced that they will be launching Chrome OS devices, and Google fully expects different partners to build different kinds of devices based on the Chrome platform."

The upshot is that, although the first slew of products will be sporting keyboards, Google is not ruling out the use of Chrome OS for tablets.

Growing emphasis

This stance is a fairly obvious one, given the growing emphasis on tablets in the PC market.

Last year's Christmas sales figures suggested that the likes of the iPad was cannibalising portable PC sales, and there was a deluge of Android tablets unveiled at CES this year.

On top of this, rival Microsoft is making a real effort with touch – as shown by the arrival of Windows Phone 7 last year and the announcement this year that Windows 8 would run on portable-friendly ARM chips rather than just the traditional X86 chipset.