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The Motorola Xoom Android Honeycomb tablet is displayed during a press event at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Venetian January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. - 


JEREMY HOBSON: Google unveils a new Android operating system today. It's called Honeycomb and it's Google's first software designed specifically for tablet computers.

From Silicon Valley, Marketplace's Steve Henn reports.

STEVE HENN: In the rush to compete with the iPad, dozens of computers makers from Dell to Samsung built tablets running Android software that was designed for phones.

Google's new Honeycomb operating system is the company's first real crack at software designed expressly for tablets.

NEIL MAWSTON: Android is working with multiple hardware partners in multiple regions and with multiple mobile operators.

Neil Mawston is with Strategy Analytics. He says Google wants to take on Apple by getting Android running on as many tablets as possible rather than building tablets itself. So to make Honeycomb work on lots of different machines, engineers made it simple. Google's Mike Cleron says there are no buttons at all.

MIKE CLERON: We were aiming for something that is futuristic but familiar. Everything is 3D. It's controlled by gestures and information rezes in when you need it and de-rezes when you don't.

Most Google tablets will have touch screens. But Google execs say some day soon, you might be able to hang an Android tablet on your wall and wave at it to get it to work.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.