Is it time for Google to merge Chrome OS into Android?

Before taking charge as the Google chief, Sundar Pichai was responsible for a team that developed its Chrome OS which ran on its Chromebook line of laptops.


Over the past few years, Google had a forked approach when it came to its operating system efforts. Before taking charge as the Google chief, Sundar Pichai was responsible for a team that developed its Chrome OS which ran on its Chromebook line of laptops.

Since Google is now led by Sundar Pichai, it seems prudent to focus on a single objective as far as Google's operating system is concerned. In the past, Steve Balmer had criticised Google for not making its mind when it came to its strategy with operating systems. And evidently, given the rise of Android, and the limitation with Chrome OS, Google is considering a move to merge the two forks and roll out a single operating system by 2017.

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Quoting people familiar with the matter, a report in the Wall Street Journal adds that engineers at Alphabet's Google have been working for close to two years to combine the two operating systems and have made progress recently. According to the report, Alphabet plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year.

For the last couple of years, analysts have been reporting on the declining numbers of PC and laptop sales, while mobility devices such as smartphones and tablets have been on the rise. A merged strategy would result in a more efficient operating system that focusses on the larger spectrum of device form factors from mobile phones, smartphones, phablets, tablets, hybrid 2-in-1s and laptops, and also larger screens such as smart TVs that are already powered by Android.

It's quite interesting that both Android and Chrome OS were developed around a time when PC numbers were far higher than mobile users. Over the past decade, smartphones have overtaken PC in terms of shipments. As a result, Android seems to have a edge over Chrome OS. We expect the new product to be demoed at next year's Google IO.

 


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