Google could merge Android, Chrome OS eventually


— 12:40 PM on November 23, 2009

Android and Chrome OS are pretty different animals right now. The former has allowed Verizon executives to stop losing sleep over the iPhone's AT&T exclusivity, whereas the latter is a year away from release and, rather than making your smart phone fun and exciting to use, will turn your netbook into a glorified web kiosk.

CNet News writes that some folks, like Google co-founder and President Sergey Brin, nevertheless think the two projects will eventually converge. Brin reportedly said so in the aftermath of last Thursday's Chrome OS presentation, backing his assertion by pointing out that both Android and Chrome OS use the Linux kernel and WebKit browser engine.

In an official statement about Brin's prediction, Google elaborated:

As Sundar [Pichai, Google's vice president of product management] said in his presentation, we'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.

In other words, the dual-OS strategy is working out just fine for the time being. Further convergence might change that picture, but it may not call for a single, all-purpose Google OS for at least a little while.

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