Chrome OS and Android Are Destined to Merge, Somehow

Illustration for article titled Chrome OS and Android Are Destined to Merge, Somehow

"Android and Chrome will likely converge over time," says Google's Sergey Brin, echoing the cryptic sentiment first mentioned by a reluctant Eric Schmidt back in July. Today, it's exactly as confusing as it was four months ago.


Google, asked how on earth this slow-motion, oddly-planned scenario would play out, gives mixed responses. The official PR line, when asked about the merger:

[W]e're reaching a perfect storm of converging trends where computers are behaving more like mobile devices, and phones are behaving more like small computers. Having two open source operating systems from Google provides both users and device manufacturers with more choice and helps contribute a wealth of new code to the open source community.

There, perfect: acknowledge that your boss's sentiment is true, but deny any specific plans. But what about when CNET asks Schmidt directly? Observe:

The future will unfold as it does.

There it is! When these guys are talking about Chrome and Android merging, they're not talking about any kind of roadmap, they're just speaking in obvious, unusually long-term truisms, like they've been doing an awful lot lately: Two Linux-based operating systems from one company are bound to develop similarities; eventually, our computing usage will be totally centered around the web; in a decade, our notebooks and cellphones will probably be one device; the future is awesome; etcetera.

This Zen futurism is charming and all, but Chrome OS and Android aren't uncontrollable entities—they don't need to be crudely estimated, or attributed some kind of autonomy, especially by the people that make them. Specifically, they need to be planned. [CNET via Download Squad via Engadget]



Les Mikesell

Sort of like it was obvious that unix would be the only operating system needed back in the 80's when TCP was first glued in so it had the potential to do anything. Except it didn't quite turn out that way and none of the things that stopped it have changed.