Google looks to beat Microsoft to the OS consolidation punch

Google looks to beat Microsoft to the OS consolidation punch

Summary: Google is moving Android under its Chrome OS team. Will Microsoft follow suit with Windows Phone and Windows, as has been rumored for years?

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There've been rumors for years, literally, that Microsoft planned to move its Windows Phone team under its Windows team with former Windows President Steven Sinofsky as the head of both products. Cut to March 2013: Sinofsky is no longer with Microsoft and Windows Phone still sits in the Entertainment & Devices division.

chromedroid

As of today, March 13, however, it looks like Google is going down that same foreshadowed path, with its Android chief Andy Rubin handing the reins to the head of the Chrome OS and apps division, Sundar Pichai. The expectation is Android and Chrome will become one. (ChromeDroid? AndroChrome?)

Many have wondered when/whether Microsoft ultimately do the same. I just got yet another tip just a few days ago that the Windows Phone team is in process of moving under Windows client. I'm still not sure whether I believe it or not.

Microsoft's Windows client team already includes "Windows services," a k a apps like Outlook.com, Hotmail.com and SkyDrive. Neither Windows Phone nor Windows has its own "president" at this time.

In some ways, merging Windows client and Windows Phone would make sense -- especially given Microsoft's work to further unify the development platforms and app models of Windows and Windows Phone with the Blue releases. The grand plan is to enable developers to write once and run on any version of Windows.

But one also could argue that each team has enough on its own plate, especially given the current push inside Microsoft to speed up operating-system delivery pace.

Would a major reorg, like the one that would result if Phone was moved under Windows, risk delaying the coming release of either product? In the past (up to and including Windows 8), Microsoft has preferred to allow teams to complete their development work before instituting any kinds of sweeping reorgs or house cleaning.

Maybe it's just a matter of time until Microsoft merges the Windows and Windows Phone teams. I know there'd be at least one person who'd happy if that were to occur in the coming months....

What's your take? Should Microsoft move (and merge) Windows Phone and Windows? Why/why not?

Topics: Windows, Android, Google, Microsoft, Windows 8, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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62 comments
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  • Yep, Chromebook Pixel is one of them.

    n/t
    Ram U
  • ChromeOS achieved nothing and yet

    ... their head is now driving the all achieving Android head away? This smells like some political brouhaha inside the big spy camp, I mean, Google.
    LBiege
    • ha ha

      windows blue screens all the time, so unstable
      drwong
      • You know, there have been versions of Windows shipped since NT4

        You should try upgrading.

        Are you really seeing blue screens on recent Windows? If you are seeing them, go take a look at what the offending driver is. My guess it is some unsigned, un-WHQL-certified driver from some obscure vendor that you should never have downloaded. A badly written driver can blue-screen Windows pretty easily (kernel-level coding is an interesting endeavor).

        That all said, seeing a blue-screen on Windows is a pretty rare event. I had Symantec Endpoint protection take out Windows twice last Spring or Summer, and those are the only blue screens I've seen in years.
        Flydog57
        • Hmm

          XP Blue screens too man! I haven't seen it much with Vista, 7 or 8 though.
          slickjim
        • Yes the blue screens are gone now they are red screens

          "You can't fix a broken window, it has to be replaced"

          Changing from a blue screen of death to the red screen of death on WindoZe 7
          never fooled me.

          Of course I don't use MS DOS aka anything from MicroKlunk.

          I've been a robolinux user for years!
          ITJohnguru
          • So

            You don't use Windows, but you know it's still bad.

            That's good logic right there.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • i run the latest win 7...

            And I have yet to see an RSOD. I have seen a few BSODs but that's it (all of them having to do with an unstable tv tuner card)

            Is their only a specific set of errors that red screens apear for?
            rockfanMCE
          • lol

            We know, we know. It's much better to sit and watch an endlessly spinning "RAINBOW" colored beach-ball.

            Go play with siri and your steve jobs doll.
            Smigelhoffen
        • Not rare enough...

          not rare enough
          mlashinsky@...
      • ??????????????

        Either your a comppulsive liar or your clueless.

        Only two choices for you. Pick one.

        Its your corner, you backed into it.
        Cayble
      • You sound sick...

        Go take your pills and you'll stop seeing blue everywhere.
        danhrub
      • ?

        Sorry pal but this isn't the era of Windows ME. Wake up! Maybe do a little research and upgrade your OS to 7 or 8 before commenting.
        Rob.sharp
      • Blue Screens not nessacerily Windows fault

        If your computer is blue screening all the time it is either a faulty third party driver or you have some faulty hardware in your computer. Its amazing how many people complaining about BSOD do not look closely at what those screens are telling them is wrong. One guy I know who kept getting crashes on his computer was running it over clocked with just the standard fans in the case and it was over heating. Once he set it back to standard non overclocked speeds his computer stopped crashing all the time.
        NZJester
    • "ChromeOS achieved nothing and yet "

      Serious?

      The best selling laptops at Amazon are Cr based!
      Johan Safari
  • Windows should be merged into Windows Phone

    ...and Joe Belfiore should be the new chief of the combined Windows department.
    kinect_dev
  • Makes Sense

    Now that WP8 is based on NT, too, they could kill a lot of redundancy by integrating the two, I think. Chrome OS has been completely irrelevant to me and I would applaud a merger with Android -- as long as they don't screw up Android.
    Kovu401
    • NT stands for "NO TECHNOLOGY"

      True but sad.
      ITJohnguru
      • Why is it

        that people on ZDnet who have "IT" in their name normally turn out to be idiots?
        Michael Alan Goff
        • He's a

          IT wannabe. He's probably 1 semester into a 2 year program at his local community college.
          Smigelhoffen