Google will merge Android and Chrome OS by 2017: report

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alphabet Edges Toward Settling the Android or Chrome Question.

SAN FRANCISCO — Google plans to combine its Chrome operating system for personal computers with its Android operating system for mobile devices and will unveil an early version of the new operating system next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Engineers at the company have been working on the project for a couple of years already, the report said, which Google GOOG 0.56% plans to unveil next year and make publicly available in 2017. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23.72 points to 17,755.80, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.94 points to 2,089.41 and the Nasdaq composite sank 21.42 points to 5,074.27. (Associated Press) European equities have dipped after the U.S.

Android, which Google acquired in 2005, is the most widely used mobile operating system, powering more than 1 billion smartphones and other devices globally. Federal Reserve hinted at a potential December interest rate rise, sparking fresh investor uncertainty. (AFP News) Gold dropped to the lowest in more than two weeks after the Federal Reserve signaled an increase in interest rates is still on the table for this year. (Bloomberg News) Starbucks delivered another quarter of sales gains as more customers visited its stores worldwide. 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. Chrome, on the other hand, was developed in-house for Google’s lightweight laptops, called Chromebooks, and is mostly focused on browser-based applications.

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. Google is not indicating it plans to stop development of Chrome OS, but making Android work on Chromebooks opens the door to one of the few products that Chrome OS, the lesser-known operating system, had to itself. Chromebooks will get a new name, but Chrome will still be the name of Google’s Internet browser which runs on both personal computers and mobile devices.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts on the third-quarter earnings call last week that “mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today.” Google has said it’s easier to share knowledge now that the two teams, Chrome and Android, are working closely together and developing cross-platform features such as unlocking a Chromebook using an Android phone. Its development was led by an executive named Andy Rubin, who went on to lead much of the company’s robotics efforts before leaving Google last year. At the time, Google’s Sundar Pichai (now Google’s CEO) called Chrome OS an “attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.” More, from Pichai: Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. While this is a major and somewhat surprising move — Chromebooks have been fairly successful and are a great low-cost computer option — it’s easy to see how Google got here. With this major change to Google’s product lineup, the company will reportedly sunset the Chrome OS and Chromebook name — but the “Chrome” browser isn’t going anywhere.

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