Ding-dong, Chrome OS is dead. Android to lead Google's shiny future

Silent Sundar keeps shtum, but it sure looks like Google Chrome OS will become a part of Android

Android Google Chrome OS merge
Credit: Alphabet, Inc.

Looks like Google will kill off Chrome OS, folding it into Android. According to deep-throated sources, Chromebooks will get a new name in 2017.

But what will we call the, umm, “merged” platform?

Androme? Chromedroid? Nah, I'm holding out for (ahem) Android OS.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read the rumor runes.

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 7:39 am PT with more comment]

Alistair Barr drinks in the rumors, poured by Daisuke Wakabayashi, bought by "people familiar with the matter":

Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently. [It] expects to show off an early version next year. [This] move is...long-awaited.

Chrome OS was Google’s effort to bring [a] browser-centric experience to more devices [but] Android...only worked when software and apps were downloaded. ... As mobile device and app usage soared, Android prevailed.  MORE

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says it "makes a great deal of sense":

[Both] are Linux-based operating systems. [They] support apps in different ways but share the same foundation. ... Both have their own strengths they could bring to a merged smartphone, tablet, and desktop operating system.

Alas, while the marriage license may be signed, the actual release date is still over a year in the future.  MORE

And Andrew Martonik analyzes thuswise:

While Chrome OS and Android operate in separate arenas...their interconnection and convergence has been signaled since Sundar Pichai took over management of both...in 2013.

While Android 6.0 Marshmallow is a fine tablet OS, it's hardly the winner on large devices that [it is] on phones.

Chrome OS still doesn't feel like a "finished" operating system...basic features are still missing, and core portions...just don't feel like they'll ever be properly done.  MORE

So where is the Chrome OS market? Let's turn to Google SVP for Android and Chrome OS Hiroshi Lockheimer:

There’s a ton of momentum...and we are very committed to Chrome OS. I just bought two for my kids for schoolwork!

My kids are in first and third grade.  MORE

Meanwhile, Drew Olanoff notes that this chatter isn't really new news:

I’ve spoken to sources over the past few years about it.

Here’s the deal. Mobile rules the world [Pichai said]. It’s no secret. ... What Chrome OS lacks is native apps. [It] is quite boring. So boring that schools love them.

Chrome OS always felt like it could be a “mode” that you should be able to turn on within Android. ... If Pichai’s cry [wasn’t] enough to tip the hand...the announcement of the Pixel C sure was.

Google...is a nesting doll when it comes to products...with each new thing somehow relying on the last.  MORE

Update: Chris Robato is not a happy bunny:

Hiroshi also said they are very committed to ChromeOS. ... In fact, Chromebooks have yet to fully tap the global potential of the educational sector which alone can represents high millions of orders for years to come.

Android does not scale properly into larger devices [but] Chrome does not scale properly into smaller devices. ... Android+Chrome may even make...low end notebooks impossible.

Tech bloggers and tech media seem much more interested with the concept of "mergers" than engineers. ... Extra baggage just means slower and potentially buggier operation.  MORE

And Finally...
Bismillah! It's been 40 years of Rhapsody...

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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