Google Has Allegedly Killed Its Andromeda Project

Posted on June 5, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 93 Comments

Google Has Allegedly Killed Its Andromeda Project

Credit: skeeze

A long-rumored Google project that would combine Android and Chrome OS into a single platform has allegedly been scrapped. What does this mean for the future?

The future is impossible to see, as Yoda once observed. And when it comes to Andromeda, even the past is a bit fuzzy: This project, never publicly acknowledged by Google, had a grand aim in an era in which other client platform makers like Microsoft and Apple are adding complexity to their lineups. But the truth is, we never really knew what Andromeda was.

Most rumors pegged it as a single new OS that could replace both Android and Chrome OS, something that combined the best of both into a cohesive whole. When Google announced Android apps running on top of Chrome OS last year, most saw that as a half-step to the Andromeda future, a way to test the waters of Android/Chrome OS interoperability.

A year later, we know that those efforts have gone poorly. And that Google has had a much harder time than it expected just getting Android apps running on Chrome OS. Perhaps Andromeda was an even more daunting problem.

As recently as last fall, I was openly wondering whether Google was on the cusp of actually announcing Andromeda and its plans for getting customers from two separate platforms onto this new thing. In my defense, we didn’t yet know that Android apps on Chrome OS were a complete disaster.

“The pieces are all in place,” I wrote at the time. “Structurally within Google. And architecturally within the products themselves. It’s what Microsoft finally did with Windows 10, whereas it had previously developed Windows for PCs and Windows phone separately.”

As it turns out, the pieces have apparently been scattered to the wind. This week, 9to5 Google’s Stephen Hall tweeted that multiple sources have now told him that Andromeda, whatever it is, has been killed.

So yeah, got a second source on this now: Andromeda was shelved. Some of the work being moved to other things, though. Trying to learn more.

In other tweets, Hall explains that Andromeda was real.

Andromeda was absolutely real. It was Android-based and sought to bring Android to different form factors. Google was preparing hardware … Hardware like “Bison” laptop, Huawei Nexus 7 tablet, others we never heard about. Assuming all shelved this point, but work won’t be wasted.

Hall also points to the obvious successor for Andromeda in a follow-up tweet.

Fuchsia, a separate project that you are all aware of by now, is not dead and effectively serves as Andromeda’s spiritual successor.

Ah yes, Fuchsia.

This one is interesting because Google has, in fact, admitted that Fuchsia is real. And we know a few things about this project: Like Android and Chrome OS, it’s a client operating system, and based on recent screenshots, it appears to be a successor to Android. Which, when you think about it, was the point of Andromeda as well.

If I had to guess—and I do—Google’s bad experiences with Android apps on Chrome OS have likely influenced its view of the future. And rather than meld these two things together, it will do what it should have always done: Base the future on Android, not Chrome OS. Because it’s much easier to add a full-featured web browser to a mobile OS than it is to run mobile apps on top of a web browser.

It seems rather obvious in retrospect. But then, this was my complaint when Google announced Chrome OS in the first place.

So we’ll see what happens. Just don’t hold your breath looking for answers. It’s now clear that Google’s future ambitions have been thwarted by reality, and it will be a while before it can move to the next big thing.

 

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Comments (93)

93 responses to “Google Has Allegedly Killed Its Andromeda Project”

  1. Avatar

    BarretBlake

    "Difficult to see, the future is", said Yoda. Not "impossible". Losing some geek cred points for that one. :)

  2. Avatar

    Waethorn

    Andromeda was nothing more than a think tank project to figure out a way to update some of the legacy code for Android to make it feasible as a general-purpose operating system. It was still Android at its core, without much else added to it. The big issue that Google is seeing is that the Linux kernel that most Android device distributions include is of the old 3.14 LTS branch, which is constantly being patched by Google to keep it in support, since the vanilla code version is running out of its support life-cycle. Fushia takes some of the components of Andromeda, and seeks to revolutionise the foundation of Google's OS as a realtime system. The application platform is not going to rely on Java, nor is the core going to rely on the Linux kernel - it is something entirely new.

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to Waethorn:

      It's nearly impossible to create an RTOS that runs on a processor that has an internal cache or uses pipelining. Each system call has to complete in precisely the same amount of time each time it is called regardless of the state of the processor at the moment of the call. In any case, an RTOS is important only in systems that have real-time requirements. If it's used for a general purpose computer, it's just over-engineering.

      • Avatar

        crfonseca

        In reply to skane2600:

        And do we really need a RTOS in a phone? I get why such a thing would be useful in industrial settings (like for example, power grid management where knowing the response time of *all* the equipment is crucial), but I don't really see how that would ever be needed to post stuff on Twitter or Instagram, or play Angry Birds or whatever game the hip kids are playing this week.

      • Avatar

        Waethorn

        In reply to skane2600:

        Yet there are already realtime OS's available on current hardware. There is a version of Windows Embedded that is realtime, and certain other operating systems built around the Linux kernel are realtime as well.

        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to Waethorn:

          While there may be orgs that claim their OS is real-time, if their system calls don't have deterministic execution time, they simply aren't.


          Windows CE docs say:

          "Guaranteed upper bound on delay in executing high-priority interrupt service routines (ISRs). The kernel has a few places where interrupts are turned off for a short, bounded time."


          That's rather vague, but it's the only real-time accommodation I could find in the documentation (perhaps there is more elsewhere?). Nothing about deterministic system calls.


      • Avatar

        Jeff Jones

        In reply to skane2600:

        I've wondered if this would be for a dedicated Car OS.

        But even if not, maybe they have some real time tasks they want to perform underneath a virtualized multi-tasking layer. Like a hybrid RTOS that monoplizes a core or two for it's real-time stuff, and uses other cores for the users multi-tasking apps.

  3. Avatar

    Lateef Alabi-Oki

    I never saw the point of Andromeda when Android apps already work very well on Chrome OS today.


    Google's next focus should be getting developers to make their apps compatible with Chrome OS so that they look decent on tablets and laptops.


    I believe Chrome OS will eventually become the base OS for Google's hardware efforts.


    They already use it in Google Home, On Hub, Google WiFi, Chromecast and of course laptops.


    And now that Chrome OS can run Android apps natively, I see no reason why their phones won't run it in the future.

    • Avatar

      Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Lateef Alabi-Oki:

      The problem is that it ISN'T native, it's kind of a hack and it shows in certain scenarios. Google knows they can/must do better than that. I am hopeful project Fuchsia will tie it all together, the right way. But if they don't call it GoogleOS, or at least PixelOS, they will lose millions of folks.

  4. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    Yeah, Satya's strategy for future computing with the user at the center and multiple devices in multiple form factors all running the same programs and OS and shell and adapting to the interaction model at the moment is brilliant. It's an end run around the current model of multiple development models for devices whose usage is merging and morphing.

    Google realized it too late and Andromeda was their half-way measure to catch up. They just learned that system software is very hard to do.

    Apple lost Steve Jobs at the wrong time and Tim Cook probably still doesn't realize what Satya did and thinks that phasing out macOS and moving everything to iOS will solve his problems.

    Bravo Satya. And congratulations to Google for recognizing relatively early that they blew it rather than keeping this halfway measure going for a couple of more years.

    • Avatar

      12Danny123

      In reply to MikeGalos: I think a problem that Google's new OS create is getting OEMs to adopt the new OS. OEMs aren't going to give up Android Open source and customising very easily.

      Also creating an OS and Kernel from scratch and have it consistent across form factors takes a LONG time and is tough.


    • Avatar

      Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      If anyone could move their entire platform over to one OS AND get developer support, it would be Apple. They were able to change architectures from PowerPC to x86, and at that time, we learned that Apple had been testing OS X on both architectures for years. And what is Apple doing now? Making its own SOCs.

      It may sound crazy, but I would bet that Apple has been testing MacOS on ARM for awhile now, likely biding time until that architecture can be scaled up well enough to possibly replace Intel. If MS is willing to emulate x86 on an SD835, then I imagine Apple could produce a quad core (or more) ARM SOC with 15-25W TDP that might perform pretty well. I can muddle by on MacOS with a 2.4GHz C2D. Surely a modern ARM SOC can surpass that. The question would be, can they get higher level performance from their SOC designs? Maybe in 8-16 core configurations?

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to Darmok N Jalad:

        I'm not sure if what you suggest Apple might do is equivalent to what Mike is saying about MS. If Apple were to simply drop Mac OS in favor of iOS that would obviously be easier than trying to create a hybrid. But if they did attempt a hybrid they would be faced with the same sort of problems MS faces. Of course MS wants the Desktop, Phone, XBOX, Hololens, embedded etc to use the "same" OS, if Apple just wants to create a hybrid with only 3 form-factors that would be a bit easier.

        • Avatar

          Jorge Garcia

          In reply to skane2600:

          I think Apple will just "keep MacOS around" for the foreseeable future, because they must, but build-out iOS into a direct competitor to it. 95% of their customers will be very happy with a windowed version of iOS. I predict they will sell an iBook (an iOS laptop) and it will sell very well to the coffee shop/disposable income crowd.

          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to Jorge Garcia:

            It doesn't matter what it's called. If it's optimized for tablets it will be inferior for productivity, if it's optimized for productivity it will be inferior for a tablet. This is the issue regardless if the vendor is Apple, MS, or Google.

            • Avatar

              Jorge Garcia

              In reply to skane2600:

              All that is needed is a smart enough mobile device to know which type of interface you need at this moment...heck, if it can't figure infer based on screen size, connected I/O, then it can just ask, the way Windows asks you if you wish to go into tablet mode or not. Desktop Mode Y/N. I am certain that Apple will eventually release pure laptops (non-convertibles) that ONLY allow you to use the desktop mode of iOS.

              • Avatar

                skane2600

                In reply to Jorge Garcia:

                Yes you can take iOS, add support for windowing and mice with those peripherals a standard in a device and viola! You've recreated a MacBook with iOS!


                Or Apple could do like MS and have a device with an iOS tablet mode and a conventional MacOS mode.


                Or they could just do the simplest thing: Let workstations be workstations and consumption devices be consumption devices.

            • Avatar

              Jorge Garcia

              In reply to skane2600:

              It's only an issue to YOU and ME, and other "legacy" windows lovers. A large swath of people could get by fine with a mobile-based laptop that just "borrowed" a few of the most helpful features from a "grown up" OS's...most notably a windowed interface, mouse support, right click, drag and drop, and a couple more things. All of these elements will be available on iOS sooner rather than later. I can only imagine that at least one "sku" of Fuchsia will be implementing these as well, for "Pro" tablets and PC sticks, etc. Most likely, a normal iPad won't activate these features by default, but an iPad Pro will.

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      There's is no general solution to "adapting to the interaction model at the moment". Yes, in many cases you can constrain your programs in such a way to maximize their ability to run on different platforms and form-factors, but in general you can't design your program without regard to multiple form-factors and have it adapt automatically no matter what OS you are designing for.

      • Avatar

        MikeGalos

        In reply to skane2600:

        Actually, you're flat out wrong. That's EXACTLY what is done in the new Windows application model. You design responses and UI to capabilities of the current device context rather than to device types.

        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          So if one designs a UWP app placing individual objects across the screen filling the available design space on a desktop machine, those objects will appear on a Windows Phone in exactly the same relative positions as they did when it was designed and any text included will be fully readable?

  5. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    Google, like most big tech companies, has a stack of projects on the go at any one time. Most are test/proof of concept and never see the light of day, as in the case of Andromeda. The press were making a big deal of it, but Google weren't. For whatever reasons they have, I think Andromeda tech will be taken forward into Fuchsia and we'll see something somewhere down the road. For now though, with Android dominant in mobile, and ChromeOS gathering pace, I don't think they're in any rush. They seem to want to get things right, rather than just release anything to market before it's ready (I'm looking at you MS!)

  6. Avatar

    Sebastian Ambrose Hilton


    Honestly Google could have just pushed android onto desktops with added desktop added features instead of making a whole new OS. But I guess its just easier without all the old code getting in the way. But chrome OS needs to die it was pointless

    • Avatar

      Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Sebastian Ambrose Hilton:

      Yes, what you say is spot on. Had Google literally made an 80% clone of windows, that ran Android under the hood, and called it GoogleOS, (to avoid the negativity and apathy surrounding the Android ecosystem)...Windows would have 10 more screws in its coffin...on top of the nails that have already been hammered in by the passage of time. Google is the only company with ALL the ingredients in hand to become the most comprehensive ecosystem ever, but they refuse to assemble those ingredients into a cohesive ecosystem that AVERAGE people can easily understand. Why is there no universal G-Message? Why is there no desktop Android (GoogleOS)? Why is there not a Google-branded TV set that has assistant baked-in? Android, Chrome, Cast, all thee "words" are holding Google back.

  7. Avatar

    gamersglory

    Project fuchsia will more than likely replace Android and Chrome OS. all of Project fuchsia's IP is owned and devloped by Google. Seems like they would want to get away from open source since Amazon and others rip them off

  8. Avatar

    John Craig

    Gives us a real insight into just how much engineering, problem solving and down right hard work Microsoft have had to put into windows 10, onecore, cshell and continuum

    • Avatar

      Jorge Garcia

      In reply to John Craig:

      Microsoft engineers have done so much brilliant work, but there are things that the average consumer will never forgive about Windows that will keep the ship filling up with water until it eventually sinks. The Windows update process is atrocious and unforgivable (in 2017) and that is just ONE reason I see that a lot of normal people will never ever go back to Windows PC.

  9. Avatar

    MutualCore

    Sorry Google, but the Andromeda Galaxy still exists and you can't do anything about it!

  10. Avatar

    crfonseca

    It took Microsoft, what, 20 years to get from talking about Windows Everywhere to actually doing it with Windows 10, and along that way they had to drop a *lot* of software platforms and devices, and start over from scratch. And even then, UWP apps are definitely not the runaway success Microsoft was expecting.

    The problem Google has is that they simply can't do that with Android apps. It's one thing to piss off a few die hard fans, like Microsoft did, another is to piss off 1 billion* or more users.

    So they have to take the hard route of supporting them in whatever unified OS they come up with.


    * - 10^9

  11. Avatar

    RichardP

    Not surprised. 95% of what Google does fails.

    Losing confidence in Google more and more.

    • Avatar

      Jorge Garcia

      In reply to RichardP:

      Gmail...literally the world's email service

      Android...the world's most-used OS (Mobile or otherwise)

      YouTube...is YouTube

      Google Photos...second to none

      Google Drive...works incredibly well on everything you can imagine..plus 15GB free.

      Google Docs...pretty good for a free alternative to Office

      Google Keep...great little service

      Google Play Music...Amazing service

      Google Maps...the world's default map


      ...and the list goes on.


      Their main fault now is their lingering "nerdiness"...if they would just brand things under the Google name instead of confusing the normies with words like "Cast" "Chrome" "Android", "Fi" then they would be THAT much farther ahead than they already are. It's good for MS that Google just can't congeal their brand image the way Apple has always been able to, but they will, eventually.

      • Avatar

        Roger Ramjet

        In reply to Jorge Garcia:

        Without a doubt Google has been fabulously successful. I would argue the main reason, when evaluated vs. Microsoft is they understood very early much better than Microsoft, the economics of software; since the cost of the marginal copy is zero, the profit maximizing price is also zero. Therefore it must be free, and make your money off the eyeballs. This also implies that you will win head to head if you have lower development and deployment costs , therefore occupy the Internet, the lowest cost distribution platform on earth, therefore embrace open source, e.g you take freeware and add to it, get Android, give it to OEMs for free, and you are competing against a proprietary platform that would have been developed at much higher cost, trying to charge OEMs? Etc.

        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to Roger Ramjet:

          "Very Early" Google had no software to sell or even give away. They introduced a novel search method at the right time and through ads made tons of money. Without a commercial Internet Google wouldn't exist. There was no option for ad-based revenue when MS started. Even today, it's not a model that many companies can emulate due to the power of established players.


          The cost of a marginal copy of software has always been close to zero relative to development costs and yet companies have made billions of dollars selling software to customers. So obviously your "profit maximizing price is zero"  theory doesn't hold up. Imagine the millions of dollars Autodesk would lose if autocad was free.

    • Avatar

      PeteB

      In reply to RichardP:

      95%? You don't sound bitter at all.

  12. Avatar

    Jeff Jones

    Considering the rumors around Andromeda and now that they've shelved it tells me they were probably running a couple projects in parallel and the better path won out. So Andromeda doesn't need to continue. If it did have aspects that were better then they'll likely integrate those into other projects.

  13. Avatar

    rth314

    All the recent gushing over Google needs to be put in perspective. It appears that Google has been unable to accomplish a unified OS, an accomplishment that Microsoft achieved with a much more complex OS. Microsoft has apparently figured out how to run Win32 apps on ARM, while Google can't figure out how to run their own mobile apps in their own OS. Heck, I was running Android apps on my Windows Phone a while back with a leak of the Astoria bridge. Reports were saying it worked TOO well. Remember that? If you've followed the coverage lately you'd think everything Google touches turns to gold, while Microsoft is a bunch of bumbling idiots. This puts a big kink in that theory.

    • Avatar

      Waethorn

      In reply to rth314:

      Nooo...Google is running a container platform on an operating system that is custom designed to meet strict hardware demands, with each variant having its own own device tree. It's a level of complication that Microsoft doesn't deal with. Frankly, it's why Microsoft never did open up ARM development to numerous chipsets. Windows RT targeted Tegra. Windows 10 Mobile targeted Snapdragon. Yet there are numerous ARM chipsets out there. Microsoft tried to get manufacturers to adhere to UEFI, and it's been a shaky walk ever since. ARM manufacturers aside from Qualcomm still don't really adhere to it. The firmware requirements for Chrome OS aren't as strict, and yet manufacturers have done a great deal to ensure protection mechanisms stay in place, which is telling of how far OEM's are willing to go for Google, but not for Microsoft.

      • Avatar

        rth314

        In reply to Waethorn:

        I'm not buying that.  It looks like Google painted themselves into a corner. No one is asking Google to support Android apps on every ARM chip in existence, even though I don't see why they are incapable of doing that, if supporting all those chips is indeed what they have done with Chrome OS.

      • Avatar

        MutualCore

        In reply to Waethorn:

        iOS only has to run on Apple's ARM chip. That's how you simplify! Microsoft should only target Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 for now and the successor to that in 2018/2019. Keep it simple.

  14. Avatar

    Mark from CO

    Paul:

    An unexpected execution error by a competitor. Let's see if Microsoft will be able to take advantage of the time it has been given.

    Mark from CO

  15. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    Yep. Writing actual system software is hard. That's why nobody's written a new OS since Windows NT in the late 1980s.

    Apple tried multiple times and failed. IBM tried multiple times and failed. Apple ended up buying their full OS from NeXT and even that was a shell on Unix from the 1960s. We all know what happened to IBM's attempts after they split from Microsoft. Even working together, Apple and IBM and Motorola failed.

    A lesson for those thinking that writing a full new OS platform can't be that much harder than creating a new social media site.

  16. Avatar

    obarthelemy

    "It seems rather obvious in retrospect. "


    It also seems rather not all of the issue. ChromeOS = excellent update model; Android = broken update model. On which would you like to build your future ?

  17. Avatar

    Bats

    Thwarted by reality? The reality is already Android IS ON Chromebooks. That's the reality. That's Google's starting point. So where exactly is the "thwart?"

    After all, the fact that Google has been able to get Android on Chromebooks is a great achievement. We are talking about two different OS's in one device. That's like getting Apple's iLife suite working in Windows.

    It's funny how Paul, is coming to these so-called "conclusions" based on his analysis of heresay. LOL. Is that actually professional?

    After all, hasn't Paul learned from the iPad misstep? If the iPad hadn't changed the game, there would be NO Surface.

    In all my years observing tech, one thing is for sure: All things are possible with code. 

    For Paul to come out and state the opposite, especially based on heresay...imo, just isn't stupid but also unprofessional.

  18. Avatar

    Ruvger

    Great article. More like this, please.

  19. Avatar

    mikeghou

    Windows Everywhere! At least it mostly works. :}

  20. Avatar

    normcf

    When I'm accessing my bank accounts, I would always prefer ChromeOS over Android (or windows) just for the security, and I'm sure there are plenty of businesses that are thinking the same for certain roles. Education wants an unhackable end user device and nothing else fills this role. I doubt Google will stop working on ChromeOS even if they cannot solve the Android problem.

  21. Avatar

    rameshthanikodi

    I love how all the Google fanblogs were hyping it up like the next big thing despite Google never acknowledging it. However, I am surprised that Google has struggled to get Android apps working on Chrome OS despite their previous confidence in their containerization technology that they once bragged about.

    Anyway, Fuchsia isn't Android, it doesn't even run on a Linux kernel. Not sure Google wants to do with it, but it is very interesting that it's the first major (seemingly) consumer OS that is starting life by being designed as a real-time operating system.

    In my opinion, Google should just put Android on their laptops. Just add a desktop environment, add windowing (I think Android N supports this already), add optimizations for keyboard+mouse users, and add support for x86 (I think Android already can run on x86?). Call it AndroidBooks or whatever, and be done with it. It will run all the Android apps, and it will run Chrome. They might need to load up a version of Chrome that defaults to desktop sites, but that's about it.

    • Avatar

      Pbike908

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:


      I think Google is reluctant to put Android on laptops because of security issues...


      One of Google's biggest selling points of Chromebooks, is security in that one is essentially only vulnerable to phishing attacks and even then the actual device (Chromebook isn't compromised.


      If Google throws in the towel and releases Android on Chromebooks which would in all likely hood mean their hardware vendors could likewise, then Google would have all the same updating and security issues that have plagued Android from the get go. Not to mention hardware vendors would have the option of customizing the OS for their devices like they do for phones and tablets.


      I was looking forward to running Android apps on Chromebooks and I would be in the market for such a device if Google ever works this out.

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      The term Real-time has been casually tossed around in recent years, but I seriously doubt that Fuchsia qualifies as an RTOS from an engineering perspective. The fundamental characteristic of an RTOS is deterministic timing behavior. That means that caching, garbage collection, anything that causes timing of the system to vary, is off the table.

    • Avatar

      obarthelemy

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      Samsung just did that with DeX, ans Samsung often (not always) previews Android's evolution.

    • Avatar

      jimchamplin

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      It doesn't really matter what the kernel is. All the things that make Android be Android are higher-level than that, and should work no matter what's underneath. Android kinda just used Linux as its HAL.

  22. Avatar

    jrickel96

    Then there's Microsoft's Andromeda that Walking Cat has uncovered some interesting things about buried in Windows. Support for two 3-axis gyroscopes in a device and has a hinge value listed. There's a "posture" detection setting that is used for the adaptive shell in the stuff WC has found.


    I think Google's Andromeda was always pie in the sky. The adaptive shell upcoming in Windows could be interesting, especially with the "mobile relaunch" that appears to be more of a reinvention of things than a relaunch, a new device category.


    That's more interesting than the smart speaker niche market that currently sells about 10 million devices a year. That may increase to 20 million, but it will always been tiny compared to PCs, phones, etc. The future of ambient computing is not things like Google Home - it will be in working with appliance manufactures, etc to build it into everyday devices and link them together, room to room. I know I haven't used my Google Home in six months. Even with the new additions, it's still not anywhere near as good as just searching for something myself or seeing a weather alert on my phone.


    Truth is, all these companies are just throwing everything at the wall and hoping to find something that will stick. Google really needs it because they only make money on ads. Any major paradigm shift could really hurt them in a big way. Their problem is no one trusts them at all. I know of not a single person that actually likes Google. They just all think they have no other options.

  23. Avatar

    siko

    Vaporware turns out to be vaporware.... all arrows on the industry standard 'ahem' Android.

  24. Avatar

    skane2600

    Just as Microsoft doesn't need to succeed in mobile to survive, Google doesn't need to succeed on the "desktop". They should focus on their strengths rather than trying to create a single OS to "rule them all".

    • Avatar

      Jeff Jones

      In reply to skane2600:

      Part of the problem is having tight integration. I'm sure Google would like to see Android Assistant in place of Cortana, but I'm not sure if Microsoft would ever allow that or not. There are other aspects as well like Smart Lock on Chromebooks, or automatic tethering between Android 7.1.1 and Chromebooks, or synchronized notifications across form factors.

      All of that and new ideas are easier to do if you control both platforms.

    • Avatar

      VancouverNinja

      In reply to skane2600:

      Actually the desktop, or productivity device, is a huge problem for google long term. Without this base for their mobile devices it keeps the door open for MS to take market share away in the coming years. Google is the most susceptible to Microsoft's efforts over the next several years.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        I don't see the connection. MS is essentially a non-player in the smartphone business and smartphones have the wrong ergonomics for productivity use.

        • Avatar

          VancouverNinja

          In reply to skane2600:

          Huge connection. Today most of the world sits with a PC for work purposes, for some its simply their choice for computing. Then they have only two phone OS options that don't really work seamlessly with their main productivity device. Google's aggressive nature to not support Windows 10 in any way at all can easily backfire. MSs effort to have all of their software on every single mobile device - iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile is smart and a strength. MS has been steadily getting all of the key apps on or coming to the Windows 10 store, soon enough they will have all key apps that are on Android and iOS. The iTunes announcement was very strong for MS, now Soundcloud and Spotify. I can only think of one major app - Snapchat that is not in or announced as coming to the Windows store...yet. There is a chance this is going to happen however as Snapchat is evolving and their main competitors are in the Windows store. When MS launches their new mobile device consumers will have a better solution than an Android phone to work with their PC. I think Google is in trouble in the coming years and I think they will not be able to maintain their position over the next five years. They just won't have a solution that is as good as a value proposition as what MS is going to launch.

          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to VancouverNinja:

            Like a lot of MS customers, I could care less about Snapchat, Soundcloud or whatever replaces them next week. I probably haven't used iTunes in 5 years. Obviously some people care about these apps, but others won't consider the Windows Store to be "ready for prime-time" on the basis of these type of apps.

        • Avatar

          brduffy

          In reply to skane2600: MS is moving towards a line of products that will be of small form factor with cellular capabilities. Most likely they will run on ARM. Most likely some form of continuum will allow these devices to be highly portable while still being useful as phones and productivity machines. Who knows if it will work but that appears to be their end around to the failed mobile effort


          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to brduffy:

            The problem with Continuum is that it's not that useful to have a portable productivity machine that you can only be productive on when you're tethered to a desk. The solution for true portable productivity already exists - it's called a laptop.

            • Avatar

              Demileto

              In reply to skane2600:

              Until Donald Trump surprises you with a prohibition of laptops inside a plane's cabin, then suddenly you'd be wishing your phone could project a Continuum desktop in those screens behind the seats so you could do your work with a portable keyboard.

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                skane2600

                In reply to Demileto:

                What screens? Anyway, If they ban laptops on all flights (unlikely) TSA would probably not know the difference between a portable keyboard and a laptop and might make you check it.

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                  Demileto

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  What screens? Are you kidding me?

                  http://imgs.vietnamnet.vn/Images/vnn/2015/03/09/11/20150309103800-img-6670.jpg

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                  skane2600

                  In reply to Demileto:

                  It's not standard equipment on all planes and the current trend is to avoid them:

                  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/business/streaming-flights-movies.html


                  And what is this projection capability you spoke of?

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                  Demileto

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Said trend is due to people preferring to use tablets and laptops for entertainment, both of which are at risk of being banned from flights; it can, thus, change. And I said you'd wish it could project a Continuum screen there, not that you can currently.

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                  skane2600

                  In reply to Demileto:

                  It's not clear if Trump even has the legal authority to ban laptops on domestic flights. Some carriers like SouthWest have never had screens, so there aren't likely to ever add them. But the point is that those disappearing screens were never computer monitors but integrated entertainment systems, so your argument falls apart even if laptops are banned.

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                  Demileto

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  First, I'm not talking about domestic flights, but rather this:

                  https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/29/15708506/us-laptop-ban-expansion-international-flights


                  Second, you're just lacking vision. Ten years ago not a single shop, restaurant, clinic, hotel or gym had wi-fi available for their customers to use; nowadays, however, it's pretty much mandatory. In a world where you wouldn't be able to use laptops in flights and a Continuum-like experience is a thing for phones in business use cases air companies would definitely feel compelled by the business customers to provide such a functionality in their integrated entertainment systems screens.

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                  skane2600

                  In reply to Demileto:


                  It's easy to say "you're just lacking vision" simply because somebody disagrees with you. Here are the relevant questions: Will Trump actually ban laptops on all international flights or will it just a remain an option? Would any laptop ban survive past the Trump administration (8 years max if not)? Are airlines going to keep or add screens to seats just because of a ban on international flights? If so, will they be willing to design or have designed new devices that allow a connection to computers rather than the entertainment units they used to use? If so, how would the computers connect to the screens and would they need an industry standard way to do it so all computer types could be used? What are the safety issues, if any involved? Would it require FAA authorization? Are there enough customers that buy devices with a Continuum-like technology to justify all of this?


                  Anyone can have a vision, but it's the analysis and grudge work that bring a vision to the real world.

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    John Scott

    Not surprised by this. The questions have been put forth for months on why all the delays. You have Chromebooks with both Intel and ARM CPU's, besides I don't think the vision of Android or Chrome OS ever took into account the potential for a merge. It would be like marrying IOS with Mac OS. What really should happen is convince more Android developers to also work on Chrome OS. I do not have much experience with Chromebooks other then my wife's set of them in her classroom. They work fine in that setting, but having owned two Chromebooks myself, they never were much more then a netbook with cheap and weak hardware. Great companion when all you need is internet access, but hardly a mainstream PC for most. Most of the market share numbers show Chromebooks in use as mainly educational markets in the US only. Hardly a dominate market share, but worthy I guess of Microsoft creating cheap Win 10S devices. Google has finally realized its not worth the effort.

  26. Avatar

    mortarm

    >The future is impossible to see, as Yoda once observed.

    Actually, he said it was "difficult" to see. "Always emotions in the future."


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