Combining Chrome OS With Android Looks Like Google's Endgame


With Chrome OS a potentially disruptive operating system in a market long-dominated by Google arch rival Microsoft, the backlash against Chrome will be quick and unrelenting if Google doesn't have a solid long-term plan in place. Several Microsoft partners are already on record as saying Chrome OS is "all talk."

One way Google can guarantee at least an interesting road map for Chrome OS is something Google co-founder Sergey Brin has already alluded to in several interviews: the eventual convergence of Chrome and the white-hot Android mobile OS into one Google operating system.

Several reports from the Google OS launch in Mountain View, Calif. indicated that Brin, after Google's Chrome OS presentation on Thursday, told reporters that "Android and Chrome will likely converge over time."

It would make sense. The lines are blurring between netbooks, laptops and handheld mobile devices, and Google has an opportunity to continue pushing its Android OS and also suggest a possible endgame for Chrome as Chrome development continues.

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Google's vice president of product management, Sundar Pichai, said as much during the conference, describing a "perfect storm" where "computers are behaving more like mobile devices and phones are behaving like small computers."

Dropping hints on future Android-Chrome convergence keeps the ball in Google's court, at the very least. Android's buzz is peaking now, while most users will have to wait until at least the second half of 2010 to experience Chrome OS.

It's Android that will be the most memorable Google OS of 2009. Google has gone to great pains to make sure it's developer-friendly, and Android is currently seen on some of the fall's hottest smartphone releases.