Schmidt does not rule out Android and Chrome OS merger

Schmidt does not rule out Android and Chrome OS merger

Summary: Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt actually did not say that Chrome OS and Android would remain forever apart.

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Numerous news stories, based on a single Reuters report, which state that Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, had said that Android and Chrome OS would remain separate products with possibly some overlap, appear to be incorrect.

Schmidt actually did not rule out the new Linux-based operating systems eventually merging. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews found a video of Schmidt's question and answer session at the Google Big Tent Summit in New Delhi, India. In the video, we see Schmidt answering a question about whether or not Google might put an end to Android or Chrome OS now that one person, Sundar Pichai, will lead both Android and Chrome groups.

Schmidt responded, "No, is the answer. We don't make decisions based on who the leader is … [Google makes decisions] based on where the technology takes us."

He then segued into talking about how: "Chrome and Chromium are the world's best HTML5 authoring and developing systems. You should be using Chrome. It's faster, it's safer, it's more secure than any of your other browser choices. In Android, which is more of a Java-like development environment, it [the Chrome web browser] solves a different problem. There will be more commonality for sure, but they will remain separate for a very, very long time because they solve different problems."

First, Schmidt ruled out killing either operating system platform. I don't think anyone actually thought Google would do this. Google has invested considerable resources in both Android and Chrome OS. Android is now the world's most popular smartphone operating system, and Chrome OS and its associated Chromebook laptops are gaining more fans by the day.

Schmidt then started talking about the two operating systems' different development models. Finally, he spoke about how eventually the two will merge. At no point does he state that a marriage between the two platforms won't happen.

So it seems clear to me that when you take his off-the-cuff comment in context, there's every reason to believe that eventually we'll see Android and Chrome OS coming together to make one operating system.

To be precise, I still think we're going to see a Google operating system with Linux-Android as its foundation and a Chrome web-browser interface that will incorporate both Chrome OS-style HTML5 web applications and Android-style Dalvik local applications. The first platform you'll see this will be on the Chromebook Pixel. After all, Google is already nine-tenths of the way to already delivering the software — and the Pixel has both the keyboard Chrome OS likes and the touchscreen that Android requires.

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Topics: Google, Android, Software, Smartphones, Operating Systems, Open Source, Mobile OS, Linux, Laptops, Software Development

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19 comments
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  • It really depends on what they are after

    if they want easy road,hype,what current pc market (MS) is doing they have to merge them and make a *** product! on the other hand if they want to make a rock solid experience for their users they have to keep them separate and add offline features (expand delvik) to chrome os! there is a third option do as they are doing and keep chrome os an only online product which i don't see a bright future for it;)
    L3thargic
    • This is exactly right

      ChromeOS, as it stands, is an utterly useless piece of garbage. Like Windows RT only even *more* worthless. I mean, gosh, what a total piece of crud.

      Android on the other hand, is extremely useful. However, it is a security nightmare. The nice thing: for most intents and purposes, Android isn't an OS, its a VM (Dalvik). And that makes it very portable.

      Run Android apps in the browser (and thus within a sandbox) and all of a sudden you get something with the simplicity (aka stupid-proof) of ChromeOS with the capability to actually do something useful when you need it to. There is no reason that, in addition to JavaScript, the browser couldn't also process Dalvik code. And even native code isn't a big deal using a plugin structure.

      It'd turn the paradigm on it's head: instead of running the browser as an application, run applications in the browser.

      Suddenly, both Android and ChromeOS look pretty good.

      And with the carriers-can't-get-in-the-way update policy around ChromeOS, there goes another problem, too.
      x I'm tc
  • I think..

    Google will enable you to run android on the pixel and install apps from google play. That is not a merger, and it broadens the appeal of chromebooks significantly.
    SunFire23
    • Will it run full content creation suites?

      I likes me my Creative Suite CS6 (not the leased garbage, the real ownership product) and Visual Studio...
      HypnoToad72
    • @SungFire23

      You can even buy a MacBook Air for that price. Why bother with Pixel when you have other Samsung alternatives at lot cheaper rate if you are that bent on using ChromeOS?
      spicycheeks
  • Schmidt & Google can't be trusted

    Schmidt - a liar and clown who ruined Novell and Sun. Google has achieved its current status thru illegal means, drug ads, and aiding piracy thru YouTube and also creating numerous platforms so that spammers and thugs could abuse it so that Google could benefit indirectly.

    Its time that the EU, US and the rest of the world take action against Google and stop its illegal business practices. The Chinese government was wise enough to kick Google out of China.
    Owllll1net
    • The wise Chinese government

      Is about censorship, I agree laws must be respected, but people should be confident about what's wrong and what's right.
      Unfortunately Google gave up and has accepted censorship, I know it's all about money but it's almost pathetic how fast Google can forget the "don't be evil".
      AleMartin
    • The liar and clown .....

      is in your mirror.
      D.T.Long
    • Wow, you just make stuff up as you go huh?

      At what point did China kick Google out? I seem to recall Google pulling out because they refused to sensor anything. I guess we know what side of the fence you're on there huh? Commie?
      slickjim
    • Owllll1net is a vacuous troll.

      It really, really is time you banned it.
      Heenan73
      • The subtle moniker changes...

        ...would indicate that this has happened several times already. Probably, he should be required to do this once a week until he learns to behave.
        John L. Ries
    • facts right.

      What about where Microsoft took the patents from Novell and suse. You can look it up yourself the patents were sold to a consortium that was led by Microsoft.
      sgodsell
  • Wow, that was a quick defensive atrticle

    You postulated that combining Chrome and Android was Google's future, so now that Schmidt basically said it's not in the cards, fast, defensive, "He didn't rule it out!!!!!!'

    One more steven speculation down the tubes.

    Keep that perfect score going Steven, you know, the kiss of death for any product you support!

    Just keep showing how out of touch you are with reality!
    Cynical99
  • Headline?

    You want to call me out about headlines and then you put this? Am I supposed to let that go?
    symbolset
  • This just in!!!!

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols never ruled out eating live babies therefor we can all assume that he plans on doing it.
    mrefuman
  • A CEO should rarely say "never"

    And I'm having difficulty thinking of any exceptions that don't involve conduct that is either illegal or extremely immoral.
    John L. Ries
  • One of these days....

    As soon as I see that the update is available, I will put it on my Atom Chromebook (assuming the hardware will support it).
    Richard Estes
  • I still don't see the point in...

    ... merging both systems as you described in your last § Mr. SJVN.

    We want rich applications to run on Chrome OS, and it will become reality by Sept 2013 with the roll-out of Chrome Packaged Apps v2. These applications should run offline by default, may use NaCl modules if intensive processing is needed for some tasks and will allow touch interactions (it is now very clear as Google released the Pixel).

    So I can't see the point of integrating the Dalvik machine inside the Chrome platform. It may represent a lot of effort both from Google and from the developers (there will always be some line codes to be rewritten...).

    Google may be working on a new operating system in their labs, which takes the best of both Chrome and Android platform (similar in the concept to what you describe), but the reality is that the technology is still limited as of today. We still do not have this magical CPU which is extremely powerful and consumes little energy. We will do not have this magical network which is amazing fast and incredibly cheap.

    I like this idea of one unique system running on all kind of devices, but I think it will make sense aroung 2020, when both chipsets and networks will be powerful and cheap enough.
    yphilogene
  • Android Touchscreen NOT Required

    Steven,
    You said "and the touchscreen that Android requires". I was pleasantly surprised how well Android works sans touchscreen. I cracked the screen on my Nexus 7. Since the touch interface is laminated to the screen, the side with the cracks no longer senses touch. With an adapter, I pluged in a wireless keyboard and mouse dongle and, viola, it works great. For a lot of things, it's easier to use with a keyboard and mouse. Surprise, Linux just works!
    poetjoe