Google’s Chrome OS promise is weak and meaningless

Translation: Yes, we’ll merge Android and Chrome OS in 2017, but we don't want to kill Chromebook sales, obvs.

Chrome OS Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer
Google, Inc.

Google says it's safe to buy a Chrome OS device, such as a Chromebook. Alphabet’s ad-broking subsidiary wants you to know that the rumors that Chrome OS is dead are “confused.”

Oh! Well, that’s OK then. I guess we were wrong last week.

Except Google's not actually denying the rumor. The SVP in charge made a few weak, meaningless promises, but essentially confirmed that an Android merger is on the cards. And now we hear that Eric Schmidt has also said the two will integrate.

Specifically, I think we're looking at a desktop-capable Android that includes a full-featured Chrome app, plus some management features ported from Chrome OS. Once again, I ask what we should call the merged Android and Chrome OS? I'm holding out for Android OS.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder quite how stupid Google thinks we are.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Kevin Tofel ROFLs:

Last week, sources told the Wall Street Journal that Google planned to merge...Chrome OS and Android. ... That's not the case, says Google.

The fact is, Google has already publicly shared some of its plans to merge Chrome OS and Android. ... Much of the "merging" activities revolve around...ARC, or Android Runtime for Chrome, Welder.

Of course, there are other things Google might do.  MORE

Yea, verily, Google SVP Hiroshi “load and” Lockheimer fires blanks at rumormongers:

There’s been some confusion about the future of Chrome OS. ... There's no plan to phase out Chrome OS.

This year we've...brought more of your favorite Android apps to your Chromebook via...ARC. But there’s more to do.  MORE

But John Gruber deftly says what we're all thinking:

Take that as you will, but to me it reads as a non-denial denial.  MORE

And Shaun Nichols shears away the obfuscatory wool:

This followed rumors that...drew outcry from folks who feared that in the process of merging the two...Google will mothball a pretty secure lightweight desktop favor of developing a vulnerability-riddled phone platform (Android).

[But] even in issuing the denial, Lockheimer noted that Google was indeed looking to integrate more of Android into Chrome OS. ... What that means for the future of Chrome OS remains to be seen.  MORE

So Javier Pastor sticks to his guns:

Four days [for] Google’s answer [is] a little late. ... Strangely enough that statement doesn’t deny [the rumor].

Updates will come for five years as promised on each new Chrome OS device. [And] those devices will be among the first to support that new unified OS.  MORE

Matt Kolowski looks on the bright side:

Google is in a better position than Windows ever was to unify their OS.  MORE

Meanwhile, Michael Kan can do naught but note dissention within Alphabet:

The distinctions between...Android and Chrome OS...will eventually become less apparent, according to Eric Schmidt.

The move could see Android come to PCs. ... He did say, however, that the Android, Chrome OS and HTML5 environments could be better integrated...though he didn't elaborate. ... "I think the distinctions that are so hardcoded today are allowed to become less hardcoded."  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, 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
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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