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ChromeOS tablet not planned, Android and Chrome to converge in the future: Google VP

May 31, 2012

Google is expected to launch its first ever Nexus-branded tablet at its annual Google I/O developers conference this summer, but the search giant will not create a similar device running the company’s desktop operating system, Chrome OS.

According to Linus Upson, Google’s Vice President of Engineering, the two ecosystems will coexist although they are expected to converge at some point in the future. While introducing the new Samsung Chrome OS machines, Upson told TechRadar:

We are not working on a Chrome OS tablet. We have our hands full in delivering a wonderful experience on dektop and laptop and the Android team have their hands full bringing a great experience on phone and tablet. But the two teams are working together even more closely.” […]
Everyone likes to call a horse race [between Android and Chrome OS] but we don’t look at it like that at all. We look at what’s the right thing to do for the user and how you build the right experience.

The same convergence Upson talked about in his interview with the publication is seen from other companies present in the mobile business.

The competition

Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems, OS X and iOS, while independent ecosystems, already share some features that help users enjoy a seamless experience when moving between Macs and mobile devices. Once OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 will be launched later this year, Mac, iPhone and iPad users will notice an even further integration of iOS apps into OS X.

Similarly, Microsoft will launch Windows 8 later this year, a totally redesigned desktop OS which will have a Metro-based tablet-ready user interface that will bring Windows Phone 7.x devices and future Windows 8 tablets/smartphones closer together. Users that choose to buy smartphones, tablets, and desktops powered by Microsoft’s operating systems will enjoy a more unified experience.


Future of Chrome

Unlike Mac, and most importantly Windows, Chrome OS is yet to see a widespread adoption from consumers. But that doesn’t mean Google is ready to give up the fight in the desktop business and focus solely on Android development.

Chrome OS and Chrome are two important browsing-based projects for the company, that could help bring in more ad revenues in the following years, especially as mobile devices and computers running competing operating systems are ready for certain Chrome OS and Chrome features. And let’s not forget that Google’s browser, that’s compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS computers, is among the most popular web browsers in the world, if not the most popular.

Even if it arrived later than expected, the Chrome browser is now available on Android handsets, and we could see it soon on competing mobile devices as well. Upson said during the interview that “new phones have got to the point where [Google] can run all of Chrome which wasn’t possible before ARM chips got faster and faster.” Therefore, bringing the “full Chrome experience” to a variety of devices, seems possible:

So we are able to bring the full Chrome experience to phone or tablet and you see this with Microsoft and Apple devices as well. With Chrome on Android and Chrome OS and Chrome on Windows or on Mac you get the same web browsing experience everywhere.

Are you excited about the first budget-friendly Google Nexus tablet launching soon, or would you rather see a Chrome OS tablet in the works?