Google to merge Chrome OS and Android

Posted by Harigovind M on
Chrome os to merge with Android
For years, people have wondered if Google would merge its Android and Chrome operating systems, and the company has steadfastly held to them important but distinct pieces of its strategy. That might be changing: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google has been working for two years to merge Chrome OS and Android. The results of that unified operating system are expected to be officially released to the public in 2017, but we may see an early version as soon as next year.

The Journal reports that Chrome is essentially being folded into Android, because Android has emerged as the dominant operating system by quite a long stretch. Combining the two operating systems means setting up Android to run on laptops and desktop computers, which would require big changes, as well as supporting the Google Play Store. Chromebooks will reportedly receive a new name to reflect the new OS.

The Verge has also independently confirmed that Chrome OS and Android will combine, with a preview likely to be demonstrated at Google I/O next year. The move marks an effort at Google to reduce the number of independent platforms it has to maintain, sources said.

The man in charge of Android and Chrome OS has said that Google remains committed to the latter, despite multiple reports that the company plans to merge the two operating systems later this year. "There's a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are very committed to Chrome OS," Android and Chrome OS SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer said on Twitter. "I just bought two for my kids for schoolwork!"

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Google's plans for Chrome and OS yesterday, calling the move a "long-awaited recognition that the different computing approaches embodied by Android and Chrome are no longer relevant to Google." The story was later corroborated by The Verge and fellow Vox Media site Recode, which reported that Google would work with partners to produce Android devices in traditional PC form factors. A Google spokesperson told The Verge that Chrome OS was not being "killed," and together with Lockheimer's statement this would suggest that we can expect to see Chromebooks for the foreseeable future.

Sundar Pichai, who's now leading Google, was put in charge of both Chrome and Android two years ago, and he's made moves to bring the two operating systems closer in that time. That includes adding support for Android apps inside of Chrome OS. Though support is still limited, some Android apps are up and running on Chromebooks. Google also revealed a convertible Android laptop last month, called the Pixel C. Now, it seems like that's just an early sign of what's to come.

 

Source: The Verge.


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