Google today said that Chrome OS was “here to stay” and that it has “no plan to phase out Chrome OS.” But that’s not necessarily a refutation of a Wall Street Journal report which claimed Google would “fold Chrome into Android.”
Let’s discuss. Briefly, since this isn’t exactly something that will/will not happen anytime soon.
As I reported on Friday in Report: Google to Combine Android and Chrome OS, The Wall Street Journal cited multiple sources for a story in which it said the following, point by point:
Google plans to fold its Chrome operating system for personal computers into its Android mobile operating system.
Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently, two of the people said.
The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year, one of the people said.
Adding laptops could increase Android’s user base considerably. That should help Google woo more outside developers who want to write apps once and have them work on as many gadgets as possible, with little modification.
Chrome OS will remain as an open source operating system that other companies can use to make laptops, and Google engineers will continue maintaining it.However, Google’s focus will be on extending Android to run on laptops, according to one of the people.
I highlighted that last bit on purpose. Now compare that to Google’s statement:
While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there’s no plan to phase out Chrome OS.
The WSJ does not claim that Google is phasing out Chrome OS. In fact, it specifically says it “will continue maintaining it” and will continue offering it to third party device makers. What the WSJ says is that Google is going to focus on Android (plus Chrome) for its own devices. And as I reminded folks on Friday, the firm already took the first step towards this future with its Pixel C announcement.
What else does Google say about this topic? Not much, honesty. Once you get past the momentum stuff, all we have is:
We have plans to release even more features for Chrome OS, such as a new media player, a visual refresh based on Material Design, improved performance, and of course, a continued focus on security. With our regular six-week software cycle and guaranteed auto-updates for five years, Chromebooks keep getting better over time. Finally, stay on the lookout for dozens of new Chromebooks in 2016.
None of which refutes the WSJ story.