Senior exec says Alphabet remains ‘committed’ to Chrome OS

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google will reportedly merge Android and Chrome OS in 2017.

The Wall Street Journal reports that firm has, as most analysts suspected, been working towards merging Chrome fully into Android for the past two years, but that recent advances will allow it to reveal a fully fledged Android-Chrome hybrid, expected to be called Android, in 2017.

The two operating systems have co-existed in a separate but symbiotic way for several years, but it has been clear that the situation was not tenable or even logical in the longer term. With Android comfortably sitting as the world’s most widely used operating system, it seemed only a matter of time before Chrome OS, based on the popular Chrome Browser was rolled in. Chromebooks, laptops powered by Chrome OS, are proving increasingly popular due to their low cost and increasing app availability and yet still only account for three percent of the laptop market.

An Android runtime for Chrome browser and Chrome OS already exists, but Google has been sparing on the number of apps it makes available through this method. The reveal of the Chromebook Pixel C, the company’s flagship business product, which is to be powered by Android rather than Chrome should have been the first hint that the internal war between the cloud apps of Chrome and the downloaded apps of Android had been won. By concentrating on Android, Google will also be able to entice even more developers who will be able to create apps that will run on anything from a watch to a motor car to a television with very little adaptation, all available through the Play Store which offers far more apps than the Chrome Web Store.

The WSJ’s sources have said that Chromebooks will get a new name (we’re hoping for Droidbook) and that Chrome will remain the name of its browser, which will, logically have full access to run Play Store apps on any system increasing the potential user base by billions of devices. The report also confirms that Chrome OS will remain available as an open source project and that third parties can continue to release laptops and devices based on it, but that Google’s focus will be on the new combined Android.

The decision brings a headache for Microsoft who has recently been working hard, some would say too hard, on bringing all its devices under a single banner of Windows 10, but has failed to inspire some key areas of the market, including the mobile edition which is yet to manifest. Meanwhile Google has a proven track record in bringing Android to a vast range of devices, with a conversion of its laptop machines being the final frontier towards making a dramatic fight for dominance against Microsoft. Apple, on the other hand has said that it will continue to keep its mobile and desktop operating systems complimentary but separated, with Tim Cook believing that both would be diluted by a merger. µ

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