Android, Chrome to highlight Google I/O developer conference

Chrome OS laptops may launch at big Google event

Google's biggest developer platforms will take center stage at Google I/O next week.

Thousands of developers will descend upon San Francisco next week to hear the latest pronouncements from Google, with one of the world's hottest technology companies set to discuss the future of Android, Chrome, Google Apps and more.

There is speculation that Google will team with Samsung to launch the first commercially available laptop based on Chrome OS, Google's browser-based operating system. Even if the Samsung rumors don't pan out, an update on Chrome OS is likely given that Google has promised to deliver the first Chrome computers in mid-2011.

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With the Android mobile operating system now at the top of the smartphone market and expected to expand its reach in the coming years, Google will help developers learn how to build applications for the Android Market. Google is also likely to discuss plans for Android tablets, which so far have not made a dent in Apple's dominance of this market with the iPad. Whether Google will discuss the smartphone location tracking controversy remains to be seen.

Google Apps, with Gmail and Google Docs for both consumers and businesses, will also get close attention in the dozens of technical sessions planned for the two-day event Tuesday and Wednesday.

Google I/O sold out in less than an hour when it went on sale in February. Tickets are being offered for upwards of $2,000 on eBay, quadruple the face value. Google also gave away tickets to 100 developers in a series of code-writing contests.

A Google I/O conference app for Android phones is already available to help attendees navigate the schedule, and learn about companies featured in the so-called Developer Sandbox. For those who can't make it, keynotes will be streamed live online.

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Google is a fast-growing company and one in transition, with co-founder Larry Page taking the CEO role over from longtime chief executive Eric Schmidt. Google earned $8.58 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter, and net income of $2.3 billion.

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