Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, has effectively squashed the rumor that the advertising and search engine giant would mesh its two operating systems, Chrome OS and Android, into one operating system. He affirmed that the two would stay apart but could share some like elements.
Reuters released this news as a report from one of its correspondents who attended a conference in India where Schmidt spoke to attendees. “Google’s Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products but could have more overlap,” Schmidt said at the meeting. The news service made it clear that Google has released no statement to affirm what Schmidt said. Apparently, only the Reuters correspondent heard the Schmidt speech.
The high-tech press is building off earlier statements from the chief honcho at Google when he hinted that a merger of the two operating systems was a possibility. TechCrunch reported that Schmidt had hinted at a merger of the two systems when he stated this back in 2011: “We’re working overtime to get those technologies merged in the right way.” Schmidt further said that the company would not force a merger between the two systems before they were ready.
In his Indian address, Schmidt used the word “commonality” to make inferences to the ways that the two systems might evolve.
That raises the question about whether news outlets are torturing words in attempts to create a story where none exist.
Speculation about a merger of the Android and Chrome systems initially sprouted wings after Google announced last week that executive SundarPichai would become the chief honcho over both operating systems. Pichai had previously been responsible for the business end of both Android and Chrome.
The upgrade for Pichai came after Android had positioned itself as the most used mobile OS, surpassing Apple’s iOS. To date, more than 750 million devices were sold, loaded with Android. The Google Play Store has uploaded more than 25 billion apps to users.
Windowsitpro immediately let loose the speculation bird that the appointment of Pichai led to the conclusion that Google intended to merge the two systems and standardize Chrome as Google’s only and No. 1 operating system. The Windows blog then stated that Google should go the opposite way and make Android the chief operating system because Chrome already ran on Android.
The blog eweek threw its two cents into the debate by stating that it made sense to keep the two operating systems separate.
Android and Chrome are aiming at two different targets, eweek wrote. eweek quoted Dan Maycock of Slalom Consulting as saying that Chrome is “more central to Google’s future, because through Chrome you can access all the things that Google makes money on.” Maycock described Android as a cousin to Chrome and a subsidiary. He characterized Android as a project that Google is still working on.
The problem with merging the two systems is that Google would need to re-engineer both systems, eweek said. Doing so could harm the markets they already command.
The next major event for Google to answer the operating systems merger will be at the Google I/O in May. However, with the word leaking out from Schmidt in India, it appears that Chrome and Android will maintain their separate positions for the near future.
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