Following Andy Rubin’s sudden departure from Android last week, only to be quickly replaced by Chrome OS boss Sundar Pichai, speculation has been rife that Google is planning to merge its two operating systems into a Windows-killer spanning mobile and desktop devices.
Well, that simply isn’t true – or at least, not if you believe Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who moved swiftly to rebut the rumors in an interview with Reuters earlier today.
According to Schmidt, Google doesn’t have any plans to merge Android and Chrome, insisting that the company is happy to keep the two operating systems as two distinct entities, however illogical the idea would seem.
“They’re certainly going to remain separate for a very long time, because they solve different problems,” claimed Schmidt at Google’s Big Tent event in India.
However, Schmidt did at least concede that the two OS’s may “overlap” at some point in the future, saying that Chrome OS may one day be able to run Android apps, without specifying any concrete plans in this direction.
One can’t help thinking that Schmidt is simply telling bare-faced lies here. Simply because, there can be no doubt that a merger between Android and Chrome OS would be absolutely MASSIVE given the former’s dominance in the mobile sphere. An Android/Chrome OS clearly has the potential to emerge as a genuine threat to Window’s grip on computing in the post-PC era (even if it takes several years), and so it makes sense that Google wants to avoid alarming its ‘friends’ over at Microsoft.
As SiliconANGLE founder John Furrier points out in his own analysis of Rubin’s departure just yesterday, it’s clear enough that Google is focused on the end goal of creating a new operating system framework that spans desktops, laptops, datacenters, TVs and mobile devices. Such a strategy makes perfect sense too, given the trend among both consumers and enterprise workers to ditch their bulky old laptops for the convenience afforded by tablets and hybrids. What’s needed is an OS that offers all the functionality of desktop computing on a mobile platform, and with Windows 8 so far failing to win over everyone, Google has been handed a golden opportunity to advance its own claims in the enterprise space – surely it won’t pass this up?
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest it won’t, even if no decision has been made on a merger just yet. Don’t be surprised to see Google make an about face in the near future, probably sooner than you think.