Android boss says Google is still “very committed” to Chrome OS

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 30, 2015

LG ChromeBase Chrome OS CES 2014 AA-4

Chrome OS may be absorbed into Android at some point, but Google is not ready to talk about its demise just yet.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Google will “fold” Chrome OS into Android by 2017. That’s due to the prevalence of Android over the capable, but largely unpopular cloud-centric model of Chrome OS, according to the people familiar with the matter. The dual approach of Android on phones and Chrome OS on PCs is “no longer relevant to Google,” the story goes.

In the hours after the WSJ story was published, The Verge and Recode both independently confirmed the information. We will reportedly get our first look at the Android-Chrome OS hybrid at Google I/O next year.

According to Recode, Chrome OS and Chromebooks won’t be going away, at least not right away. Google’s partners will still get to use Chrome OS for their laptops, which have proven a hit in schools and enterprise. But laptops makers will also be able to choose Android for their products.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, the newly anointed head of Android and Chrome, took to Twitter to reassure Chrome OS fans that the operating system will live on, in one form or another.

We can’t expect Lockheimer to fess up on Google’s long-term plans. And, small as the Chrome OS ecosystem may be, Google still needs to reassure users, developers, and partners that they are not investing in a dead platform.

Lockheimer’s tweet, however, can be taken as a sign that Chrome OS will live on in some form, even if it’s just functionality integrated into Android.

It will definitely be a very interesting 12-24 months in the world of Android. After tackling wearables, TVs, and autos, Google seems ready to make Android a real computer operating system. It definitely won’t be easy, and Android will need a massive revamp in order to make it truly PC-friendly. But the horizon opened by this expansion is wide open.

  • nebulaoperator

    I wonder what will happen to existing Chrome books. Will they be upgraded to the new OS after transition?

  • Vertigo X

    It doesn’t make sense in my mind to completely ditch Chrome OS in favor of Android. Instead, they’re probably going to do like Microsoft and converge the two into a hybrid OS that can change appearances depending on the peripherals attached. This means existing devices should be upgradeable to it, too.

    • Singkawang

      ChromeOS will got the ability to run Android runtime (apk). The whole story of merging ChromeOS and android is just non-teechie WSJ dude (perhaps an iOS user) who don’t understand Google product of ChromeOS & Android, made a wild conclusion on the story.

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  • Mr pumpkin the destroyer

    Don’t believe it they are just trying to cover up the fact that they never stick at anything for longer than a few years