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Insiders say Chrome OS is to be folded into Android

by Mark Tyson on 30 October 2015, 10:06

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Chrome OS

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacvve

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Google engineers have been working to combine Chrome OS and Android for roughly two years, say insiders speaking to the Wall Street Journal. A single OS with Chrome OS folded into Android is in development but we will have to wait until 2017 for it to be launched. The initiative follows the recognition that "the different computing approaches embodied by Android and Chrome are no longer relevant to Google," says the WSJ.

Only last week, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, gave a signal that this upcoming OS combination was on the cards. Talking to analysts he said "mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today." The most recent 'computer' launch we saw from Google was also based upon Android; the Pixel C. So it sounds like Google will be following Microsoft with its own 'continuum' style morphing desktop/mobile OS. (How long will it be until Apple follows suit and declares the fridge-toaster to be the best thing since sliced bread?)

Android powers over a billion phones and devices but Chrome OS a niche player, accounting for less than three per cent of PCs. With Chrome OS folded into Android and as part of that 'brand' it could considerably increase Android's user base and enable Google to "woo more outside developers who want to write apps," for the combined OS. Android PC users will enjoy many more apps via the Play Store, which users will find appealing.

Since the WSJ story broke about 12 hours ago, Android and Chrome OS SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer took to Twitter to assert that Google is "very committed to Chrome OS". With the fledgling combined OS to be first revealed at Google I/O next May, and to be launched in 2017, that sounds like the right thing to say.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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I'd say that the fact the iPad Pro runs iOS rather than OSX shows that Apple is already headed that way too.

Unusual for MS to be blazing a trail for others to follow.
Android powers over a billion phones and devices but Chrome OS a niche player, accounting for less than three per cent of PCs. With Chrome OS folded into Android and as part of that ‘brand’ it could considerably increase Android's user base and enable Google to “woo more outside developers who want to write apps,” for the combined OS. Android PC users will enjoy many more apps via the Play Store, which users will find appealing.
I'd be more interested to find out if Google will allow ChromeOS users - especially those with Chromebooks - to upgrade from ChromeOS to “AndroidPC”. I can't think of a technical reason why this shouldn't be possible and it'd be a dumb move on Google's part to not do that “upgrade”.

TBH, I blame Microsoft - OneDrive integrates very nicely with other Android apps and combined with Office-for-Android a keyboard-equipped Android device can be surprisingly productive.
How can you blame Microsoft for a shortcoming in Google sales of the Chrome OS not necessitating a driving force for Microsoft to design the productivity applications for it?
This Absorption of Chrome By Android might also promote the next step towards ‘Multiple Devices,One OS!’ paradigm. We are slowly moving into that side with all Surface Pro, iPad Pro coming up this year.
Google might want to use all the advantages of Android and its Community's strength into its Desktop OS and the easy way to do is Make its Desktop OS as a part of Android.
The Technology trends are always interesting!!
Tabbykatze
How can you blame Microsoft for a shortcoming in Google sales of the Chrome OS not necessitating a driving force for Microsoft to design the productivity applications for it?
You've misunderstood what I was driving at - although I was saying it a bit tongue-in-cheek. ;)

My point is that Android+Office365 (shorthand for “Office apps plus OneDrive app”) is a good enough combination that Google Docs (the point of ChromeOS AFAIK) is really a 2nd best option. Furthermore, Android itself is doing more on power saving, so instead of turning an Android “PC” off and on, you can just leave it on deep sleep standby. That neatly negates ChromeOS's big sell of super fast boot times.

Android is also getting even more cloud “enabled” (extending to other peoples clouds) so an Android PC might actually be a better “cloud” device than ChromeOS in the long run.

So, I fail to see the niche that ChromeOS can occupy. That said, there's a ChromeBook in the house and the user of that device really loves it. If it was “upgraded” to run an equally fast booting (although see my comments above) and responsive Android spin then she'd be even happier. This being because of the relative lack of apps for ChromeOS v's Android.