Sergey Brin: Google Android, Chrome OS likely to converge

Sergey Brin: Google Android, Chrome OS likely to converge

Summary: Google's two operating systems, mobile Android and desktop Chrome OS will likely converge as a single OS in the future, said Google co-founder Sergey Brin.


Google's two operating systems, mobile Android and desktop Chrome OS, will likely converge as a single OS in the future, said Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

"Android and Chrome will likely converge over time," Brin said in an informal discussion with reporters after the company's Chrome OS presentation last Thursday. Brin added that the common Linux and Webkit code base present in both projects facilitates convergence.

Brin's response finally addresses many questions raised by Chrome OS's original announcement in July, which some deemed puzzling as the company successfully grows its Android platform in the mobile space.

As the mobile and desktop platforms converge, why develop two revolutionary operating systems at the same time?

For now, the projects are distinctly separate, and Android chief Andy Rubin has said that Google Android has a lot of mobile-specific code that doesn't address desktop devices the way Chrome OS can (and vice-versa).

"As [Google vice president of product management] Sundar [Pichai] said in his presentation, we're reaching a perfect storm of converging trends where computers are behaving more like mobile devices, and phones are behaving more like small computers," Google said in a statement in response to questions about future convergence of the platforms, as reported by CNET. "Having two open source operating systems from Google provides both users and device manufacturers with more choice and helps contribute a wealth of new code to the open source community."

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Open Source, Operating Systems, Smartphones

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • The concept makes a lot of sense

    If you want access to your data everywhere and on every device, having a single platform may be the only way to go. Seamless ubiquity is the dream I guess, if you, the user, does not lose control. How they will be able to achieve that, from hand helds to workstations, I have no idea, but I am sure the have a grand master plan.

    Whether they will be able to execute, if/when their competitors and regulators start to freak out, remains to be seen.
    • Monocultures are dangerous

      Having a single monoculture for both mobile and desktop class computing may contribute to the rate of infection. If you can develop a single app for both Chrome and Android, you can develop a single virus or worm for both platforms too.
  • RE: Sergey Brin: Google Android, Chrome OS likely to converge

    So instead of 2 crappy OS's we'll have just one. I guess that's a good thing, if you even consider ChromeOS an OS. It will be less Google pollution on the world.
    Loverock Davidson
    • There seems to be an

      infinite supply of ignorance where that post came from. You would think that at some point a tiny bit of rationality and balance would creep in.

      What would happen to LD if Google indeed does "defeat" MS and takes over the world. What would he say/do then?
  • RE: Sergey Brin: Google Android, Chrome OS likely to converge

    Monoculture *is* a easier target. I suspect its also kickback against being tethered to a network; no network = no use.
  • Chrome = vaporware hype

    Why all this fussing over a stripped-down Linux distro that's not even complete and won't be for another year? Chrome offers less, not more, yet all the Google hypesters would have you believe that it's going to make the sun set in the east.

    Yesterday, I turned two of my cheap systems into dual-boot Ubuntu 9.10 and Win 7 Home Premium machines (one a laptop, the other a desktop both combined worth less than $500). For less than what you'll pay for a Chrome system, I get all Google's stuff, plus lots of Ubuntu stuff, plus lots of Microsoft stuff...I get more for less. You can too. Chrome does offer Google stockholders the possibility of monopolistic control over the PC space; it's designed to bring eyeballs to advertisers. Which is what Google is really about: it's a marketing company, not an IT firm. But, ask yourself, what does that do for you...not very much.

    Google used to be somewhat useful, but, today, its search results are overwhelmed with advertising flotsam and jetsam. Its Google Docs apps are weak compared to MS-Office and OpenOffice. And, GMail competes with similar offerings from Yahoo and's not a big deal. Google is not going to run your mission-specific business apps for you, either: it'll do a few primitive business can do simple spreadsheets and simple letters on Docs, but, again, that's no big deal. Expect Google to sell that data to advertisers or to the NSA or to the IRS, you really think Google works for free? Then, there's that GMail outage recently...what if an outage grinds your business to a halt?