back to article Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

Google is apparently going to "fold" Chrome OS into Android, potentially killing the development of a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process. The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, claims engineers at the Mountain View giant have spent the past two years merging Chrome OS into Android. The end result will …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One less ...

    Now there is one less "chrome" to deal with - excellent. I don't know how the fetish started, but a world with fewer "chromes" is a better place.

    1. Mr Lion

      Re: One less ...

      FEWER man, FEWER

      You're welcome.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: One less ...

        Bad criticism I think. I won't call it pedantry, because it isn't; it's preference. Pedantry is a word that should be reserved for when someone has got something wrong. "One less" is not bad English since Chrome (on Android versus Chrome the OS) can both be referred to by the definite article. Just because you can make a substitution doesn't mean you should, indeed "one less" has a cadence that emphasises the point. Consider:

        And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's one less Chrome we have to deal with."

        and

        And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's fewer Chromes we have to deal with."

        The latter is just grotesque!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One less ...

          I'm afraid you are wrong about it being a preference.

          'Less' refers to a reduction in a continuous amount of a thing, as in 'less water', whilst 'fewer' refers to a reduction in a number of discrete items, as in 'fewer bricks'. Part of the confusion is that we can use 'more' to indicate an increase in both, but there is still a distinction when it comes to indicating a reduction.

          'Less bricks' is just as wrong as 'fewer water'.

          1. Rob Gr

            Re: One less ...

            I'm afraid your wrong, I'll cite the Oxford English Dictionary to back up my claim. Will that suffice?

            http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/less

            1. Benchops

              Re: One less ...

              I think /you're/ wrong (not "your wrong" -- that should be "your bad").

              As you say, to quote the Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/few

              scroll down to "Usage

              Fewer versus less: strictly speaking, the rule is that fewer, the comparative form of few, is used with words denoting people or countable things ( fewer members; fewer books). Less, on the other hand, is used with mass nouns, denoting things which cannot be counted ( less money; less bother). It is regarded as incorrect in standard English to use less with count nouns, as in less people or less words, although this is one of the most widespread errors made by native speakers. It is not so obvious which word should be used with than. Less is normally used with numerals ( a score of less than 100) and with expressions of measurement or time ( less than two weeks; less than four miles away), but fewer is used if the things denoted by the number are seen as individual items or units ( there were fewer than ten contestants)."

              Note the "strictly speaking" and "one of the most widespread errors made by native speakers".

              1. Benchops

                Re: One less ...

                Of course the OED Usage statement (which should magically appear on the CLI whenever someone uses it incorrectly) is imprecise: Why "people or countable things"? Wouldn't just "countable things" suffice? And "things which cannot be counted ( less money)" clearly contradicts the well known fact that the King was in his counting house, counting out his money. Actually, we are never told if the King succeeds.

          2. Julian Bradfield

            Re: One less ...

            People have been using "less" in this way since Old English, people including such masters of the tongue as King Alfred - what's 1500 years of usage set against the personal preference of one 18th century grammarian, which is how the whole less/fewer fetish got started.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: One less ...

              what's 1500 years of usage set against the personal preference of one 18th century grammarian, which is how the whole less/fewer fetish got started

              Yes. And the OED, in the passage quoted by another poster, is guilty of the worst sort of naive prescriptivism, with its talk of "error" and "strictly". Since the OED is supposed to be a descriptive dictionary, I don't know what that rubbish is doing there; but no one who understands how natural languages in general and English in particular work would pay any attention to it.

              But the sophomores do love their shibboleths.

          3. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

            Yeah...

            That distinction only exists in UK English.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One less ...

          Snake who?

          I don't recognise the quote and anyway you seem to be talking about a 'Snake' that is not 'Plissken', and this does not compute because anything else is just too bloody obscure.

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: One less ...

            Snake who?

            Yep

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One less ...

        One less thing is correct here. The "less" is this case is connected to the one thing, a singular, not all the remaining things. A thing cannot be fewer.

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: One less ...

          Thanks for the support but I have to admit there's a logic to what he is saying when you are referring to grammar books written in the 1950's. But that means we have to fix this, which now just doesn't sound quite right:

          And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's one fewer Chrome to deal with."

          This is better:

          And Farquhar, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Gaylord, "By Golly, that's one fewer Chrome to deal with."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            grammar books written in the 1950's

            ... what? What belongs to the 1950?

            You don't need an apostrophe here because you are not using the genitive/possessive sense. Now if you had said

            grammar books written in the 1950's style,

            that would have been acceptable, but what you should have said was

            grammar books written in the 1950s.

        2. Craigness

          Re: One less ...

          > The "less" is this case is connected to the one thing, a singular, not all the remaining things.

          "Less" here is related to the number of things we stared with, compared with the number which remain. There is 1 fewer (or 14% less, which makes no sense because Chromes are whole things).

          > A thing cannot be fewer.

          There are to be fewer Chromes. It refers to the remainder not what was taken away.

          1. Benchops

            Re: One less ...

            That's a red herring. Reducing by one doesn't change the that you're comparing a lower countable number of items (in this case, "Chromes", or presumably versions of Chrome). If there were 3 fewer Chromes instead of one fewer Chrome, you would quite definitely say "fewer" rather than "less" (even by your logic). It's just that it's misused even more when the quantity is reduced by just one (to you and lots of other people, although I'm hoping there might be one fewer people to convert ;) ).

            On your side, however, you have the very erudite Alexander Armstrong continuing to say "can you score less points than ..." where the points are integers from 0 to 100 -- clearly countable. I've often wondered where the practical physical boundary between discrete and continuous occurs.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: One less ...

              As the OP, I can inform you all that I thought long and hard about whether to use less or fewer. I distinguish between less and fewer in what I believe is the correct manner on a daily basis, however sometimes, it is a rather grey area. I still think less is the best usage in my example, but I cannot articulate why I think this.

              I tried, and I did learn something from the commentary!

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    The title is no longer required.

    Well Ryan seems to have taken it rather thickly :/

    1. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: The title is no longer required.

      Fuck fuck fuck fuck. RIP best current OS being merged into most shit current OS. Fucking Google fuckers. Fuck.

      Best Twitter - Ever!

  3. Conrad Longmore
    FAIL

    Because

    Because folding one OS into another always works so well, for example MeeGo. Tizen. Etc.

  4. jgarry

    Hey, open source, ElReg can write their own. Call it reflux.

    Use a Delorean as a mascot.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Shoulden't they ask Microsoft whether it's such a good idea forcing a desktop OS onto a phone?

    1. AJ MacLeod

      I rather thought it's the other way round... MS have been trying to make desktop PCs look like phones for the past few years. In any case, it's clearly not what people actually want.

  6. Hetz Ben Hamo

    Dear experts

    For the love of God, please do some googling before tweeting?

    Pixel C is the tablet that will have those updates and folding to this single OS. If you look closely at Google remarks about this device, updates for it will come directly from Google *EVERY 6 WEEKS!*, just like Chrome OS devices get.

    People, the new Android version is not even ready yet, and yes, i'm pretty sure that Google will change their update policy regarding those devices who will have this new "merged" Android version, It will *NOT* be like today that you have to wait weeks or months for a damn update, you'll get it directly from Google, just like Chromebooks gets them, so any security issue will be dealt quite fast.

  7. MikeyC

    Don't believe everything you read in the WSJ

    Silly people! This is classic "anonymous source" misdirection from a vendor - not a confirmed fact.

    There is no way Chrome OS is going to be "folded" into Android. If anything Android apps will run on Chrome OS just like some are capable of using the Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC):

    https://developer.chrome.com/apps/getstarted_arc

    :ROLLEYES:

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DougS Silver badge

      So what's your point?

      Windows 2000 was NT kernel 5.0. Windows XP was Windows NT kernel 5.1, plus some eye candy.

      Are you suggesting that Google is doing to dump Android and replace it with Chrome? No, Android has a 1 billion+ user base, and Chrome has a user base of a few tens of millions at the most (and that's being charitable, assuming most of the Chrome laptops aren't sitting in closets like we know they are) Android will win, and Chrome will disappear.

      1. Philip Storry

        Re: So what's your point?

        I think his point is that it's not the underlying technology - it's the applications.

        Windows NT4 was unsuitable for home use despite having the same interface as Windows 95. That's because it had to ensure security and process safety (amongst other demands).

        Windows 95 was backwards compatible with a LOT of software. There were some exceptions - for example Delrina Winfax Pro didn't work - but that's because it replaced the COM port driver. The actual application would load and show you your old faxes, but it couldn't send or receive, due to that COM port driver. That's actually pretty impressive - only specialised software that did odd stuff didn't work, and even then it often partially worked. The rest of your Windows and DOS software would run just fine.

        Where Windows 95 was impressive in its backwards compatibility, Windows NT 4 wasn't as impressive. Sure, it had a Windows on Windows 16-bit machine and a rudimentary DOS box. But most Windows software wasn't written with security in mind. A lot of 16-bit software did stuff that Windows 95 could allow, but the strict process limitations in NT wouldn't. Hell, Microsoft's own Office suite had a bunch of "this feature doesn't work under Windows NT" and "this feature requires local admin rights to work under Windows NT" issues until about Office 97 or 2000. If even Microsoft's developers couldn't get it right, what chance did others have?

        The solution was actually pretty simple. It took two things - time and patience. Over time, most of the software became 32-bit and the compilers wouldn't allow stupid coding behaviour as easily. And software gradually became a little more security aware. But most importantly, users moved to software that was compatible as they either upgraded or switched to other applications.

        It wasn't perfect, but after five years or so the world was just about ready to migrate to that new NT kernel. Some software wouldn't - couldn't - work on it. But most did, and it was just like the Windows 95 compatibility situation all over again.

        How is this relevant to Chrome/Android? Well, there's an Android Runtime for Chrome. At the moment it only works with (and therefore allows) specific, vetted apps. It's quite possible that Google's plan is to run a "virtual device" on your Chromebook, where you'll be able to have your Chromebook as another Android instance, possibly even with app data synchronisation and the like. Android lends itself well to that architecturally, and it's far easier than trying to get lots of Android apps replaced with Chrome web apps/extensions.

        But like those early Windows 95/Windows NT migrations, there will be edge cases where apps do unexpected and stupid things that the Android Runtime guys never anticipated. And there's issues like the notification centre (do they unify it between the Android instance and Chrome?), what data to synchronise, and so forth. It won't be perfect. So Google have some work to do to get it "good enough", and there may be new APIs in both Android and ChromeOS to help developers get the best out of this integration.

        In this sense, I see strong parallels between the first two big Windows upgrade/migrations and this one. It's about application compatibility more than anything else - nobody runs an OS just for the sake of running an OS.

        (Well, nobody with a life...)

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: So what's your point?

          > only specialised software that did odd stuff didn't work,

          Windows 95 completely dropped support for all Windows 2 programs which ran fine under all 3.x. I had one Windows 2 program that didn't have a suitable replacement so ran a copy of Win3.11 in a virtual machine.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: So what's your point?

          > re-write Android to be based on Chrome.

          They are both based on the Linux kernel. They may add GNU to Android and/or Android UI and ART to ChromeOS. This would give Android apps on ChromeBooks and allow phones to become ChromeBooks/desktops when connected to a monitor or TV like Ubuntu does.

          1. Vic

            Re: So what's your point?

            They may add GNU to Android

            I really doubt that.

            Substantially all GNU userland stuff is GPL or similar; to start putting GPL into Android means that redistributors (i.e. the phone manuacturers) will have to track the GPL stuff and release it properly. That's just asking for trouble - so many vendors are notoriously crap at compliance. And Google - whilst not responsible for the phone makers' compliance - will take flak for it. That's something they won't want...

            Vic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So what's your point?

          "Android needs a re-write from scratch to fix it's problems, not another, "lipstick on a pig", facelift like Lollipop was."

          The *only* reason why I am currently in the process of setting up my Android tablet as a Laptop replacement are those dreaded Android Apps.

          You might be willing to forsake the "awfully insecure" flexibility and user friendliness of Android Apps by replacing Android with a server centric ChromeOS, which would de'facto reduce my smartphone or tablet to a half-dumb webterminal, utterly beholden to Google's software update and maintenance policy.

          But I for one rather choose insecure freedom over semi-secure slavery (NSA and local law enforcement snoops anyone? - not to mention Google's own data mining madness).

          If Google ever would phase Android out in favor of a webterminal called ChromeOS, then I'd ditch the platform altogether.

          Next stop: Ubuntu or iOS.

      3. Naselus

        Re: So what's your point?

        "Windows 2000 was NT kernel 5.0."

        And it was such a hit with users compared to Win 98... in bizarro world.

        His point is that Win NT-based machines were not the commercially successful product, and yet the more popular, mass-market DOS-based line was the one that was discontinued. The same may apply here (I'd doubt it, myself, but the way of the chocolate factory is mysterious).

  9. jonnycando
    Facepalm

    Might be time...

    To put some linux distro on my chromebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might be time...

      Dispose the whole shi%#t altogether. Google made absolutely sure it is a PITA to install Linux on it.

      1. bailey86

        Re: Might be time...

        'Dispose the whole shi%#t altogether. Google made absolutely sure it is a PITA to install Linux on it.'

        Errm. Installing Crouton (Ubuntu for chromebooks) is fairly trivial - just one command to install and then one to run it.

        'Download crouton

        Open a shell (Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell and hit enter) and run sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

        Wait patiently and answer the prompts like a good person.

        Done! You can jump straight to your Xfce session by running sudo enter-chroot startxfce4 or, as a special shortcut, sudo startxfce4'

        I installed unity instead. It's all so easy because ChromeOS is based on Linux. For the techies - Crouton installs a simple chrooted login.

        So, my Lenovo N20 chromebook becomes a 1Kg SSD drived laptop running Ubuntu perfectly and fast - at a cost of 180 quid!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might be time...

      Why haven't you done that already ?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Might be time...

        Linux has been on mine for a while, but I still haven't figured out how to get it as a native install and not through crouton, so I can use the linux I want.

        ^%$ Baytrail processors and fake boot sequences...

        (though it does look as if someone has managed to get seabios onto the Tosh II so there is hope.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Might be time...

          So basically you wanted a computer that can run any Linux distro you wanted, didn't do the research, and now it's the machine's that you're trying to make it do what wasn't made for?

        2. Felix Oxley

          Re: Might be time...

          After having Ubuntu installed on the internal SSD on my daughters chrome book, I borrowed it one day and accidentally pressed space after switching it on thereafter leading to hours of unwanted work.

          Therefore I suggest you purchase a tiny USB stick (USB3.0 32GB say) and install to that.

          Then just press Ctrl L every time you boot safe in the knowledge that if you accidentally press space it won't matter :-)

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
            Go

            Re: Might be time...

            My post upthread triggered me to do another websearch - and woohoo, someone's worked out how to get seabios onto the Toshiba CB2, so now I have an almost working Mint running natively on it.

            Instructions from the Captain at www.fascinatingcaptain.com/howto/install-ubuntu-on-the-toshiba-chromebook-2-in-5-steps - still need to find a solution though for no sound, no touchpad, and no suspend - of which only the last is for me a real annoyance since I don't do a lot with the audio on this machine.

            Kudos to John Lewis for sorting the seabios scripts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might be time...

      "...To put some linux distro on my chromebook."

      FTA..."Chrome OS [...] is built from the open-source Chromium OS, a minimal Gentoo-derived GNU/Linux operating system"

      ...so your Chromebook came with a Linux distro to begin with

    4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Might be time...

      > To put some linux distro on my chromebook.

      I did kind of the opposite. I took some nearly 9lb Pentium4 laptop with Linux Mint, and set up a login that auto-hides the panel and autostarts Google Chrome, logged into my daughter's Google Desktop account from elementary school. Made a free pseudo-Chromebook of sorts. Lightweight it ain't, cheap it is (and if she breaks it, I still have a Thinkpad T23 to use, or maybe I'll have a spare used X64 machine by then).

  10. Chairo
    Devil

    It's not all bad news, however

    At least there is the opportunity to give the result a new name now.

    As this comes out of the unification of Android and Chrome OS, perhaps "unity"... no? Then we could call it "integrated OS" or "iOS"... again not good?

    Then may I suggest "Franken-OS"? Yes, Franken-OS it is!

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Coat

      Re: It's not all bad news, however

      Given the creative fuckheads at Google, we'll wind up with Chrandroid or Androme OS instead.

      1. Cameron Colley

        Re: It's not all bad news, however

        Androgen OS?

  11. Bruce Woolman
    Linux

    Turn the scope 'round the other way -- I would rather see a pure and secure Chrome Phone

    A Chrome OS phone that can handle a well defined core suite of useful apps would be an easy sell -- especially for enterprise. But a Chromed Android OS on a laptop? Feh! I like my Chromebook. Android security is an oxymoron.

  12. J J Carter Silver badge

    MSFT must be flattered

    What with AAPL trying to imitate their Surface hardware and now the oompa-loompas imitating their OS strategy

  13. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    The end result will be an all-encompassing OS for mobile devices and notebooks,

    Where have I seen that before, a "single" OS for pc's and phones?

    1. Craigness

      Re: The end result will be an all-encompassing OS for mobile devices and notebooks,

      Ubuntu?

  14. LDS Silver badge

    How could be an OS designed to keep your data away from you "secure"?

    Sure, ChromeOS does so little locally its attack surface is little as well. Just, it forces you to do almost everything on servers outside your control.... the only secure thing is Google has all your data.

    1. Craigness

      Re: How could be an OS designed to keep your data away from you "secure"?

      You don't need to give any data to Google, or even to visit any of their domains, in order to use a Chromebook. Other than automatic updates, you could block them at your router and have no problems.

      Using a Chromebook means you don't need to give any data whatsoever to any website, ever.

  15. Adam Foxton

    A chrome android?

    Yes, Impirious Leader. By Your Command.

  16. naive

    Brilliant.... if done well

    With the processing power of current and future phones, it is a waste not to use the potential of the phone hardware to run a desktop OS.

    If Google manages to make it good, safe and manages to enforce an industry standard cradle or interface that all manufacturers producing Android phones have to be able to interface with, tossing the phone in the cradle is sufficient to continue the desktop work where one left the day before. If this works with all Android devices, and they offer good connectivity with Google Apps, some might actually start thinking if it is useful to continue paying over $ 200,- in licenses for just OS and a confusing overloaded word processor.

    I hope they succeed, and finally manage to liberate the world from the desktop strangulation.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    google is soooo last decade...

    Besides they NEVER could be trusted with long term stability - always short run projects that they drop - that's why we don't use the googlesphere of services in our org.

  18. blouwagie

    The Chromebook value is in the centralized management missing in the HP stream

    We have hundreds of chomebooks that are extremely easy to manage and secure.

    We have only 50 Android devices that are pure misery to keep centrally managed.

    I hope Google does indeed not do that stupid move. Feels like Microsoft hearing this

  19. Mage Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    killing a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process

    a) It's just a shell on Linux to implement a browser based thin client.

    b) It's really Google spyware.

    c) It's horribly limited as a destop OS, it's really a "cloud" style terminal.

    Android too is shell based on Linux optimised for small touch screens and is poor compared to a regular Linux Distro for a desktop / Laptop.

    This doesn't matter, as a proper Linux distro is a better solution than Google's Chrome OS, which was never a real alternative OS.

    1. Youngdog

      Re: killing a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process

      I think you're throwing the baby out with the bath water with your dismissal - there are really no decent options for 'c' right now which is sad as a terminal only, properly secured device would be a boon to companies concerned with intrusion and data leakage.

      I've seen them all - RDP products, Citrix, Java-based virtual desktops - and they all suffer because of weaknesses or limitations in the baseline OS used to launch them. A dedicated locked down chromium solution would be ideal.

      And yes, as someone whose dabbled with Android on netbooks, I agree it really does suck when not on a phone.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2016 - the year of the smartphone keyboard !

    Obviously the schools will still have theirs locked down.

    Will be interesting to see how it works, though pressure from Wintelple may make it not be so good for consumers.

    Anyway, keyboards are now in vogue, all we now is Apple to sanction it for the masses by launching an iFlip.

  21. jillesvangurp

    Nonsense. Chrome OS is a glorified browser with a linux kernel. Android is a linux kernel with an SDK, an actual app ecosystem, broad vendor support, etc. And it ships with Chrome. So anything that can run on Chrome OS can be quite trivially supported on Android as well. Which is why Chrome OS never made sense from the very day it launched. Now that Microsoft is back in the game of shipping OKish software again, the market for crippled cheap laptops is drying up rapidly because you can get a similarly priced laptop that is not crippled. As soon as you add touch to the mix, Chrome OS just isn't good enough. This is why Google's latest hybrid laptop and tablet, pixel c, already ships with android.

    The main problem with Android security is the tiered update model where Google ships an update, and vendors procrastinate and eventually may or may not ship a patch to their misguided adware and malware ridden Android reinventions that may or may not include some of the updates, on some devices that they sold recently. Blame the vendors and not Google for basically not giving a shit about their own products and its users. With Chrome OS, any deployed systems auto update. Google should defiinitely fix this even further; though effectively play services continuously update any android installation for most of the relevant user facing stuff for anything Android 4.x. For example my nexus 5 received the new Google launcher before the marshmellow update since that is managed as part of the play services. The same is true for Chrome and lots of other stuff. Also, most of the Android security problems relate to features Chrome OS simply doesn't have. So it is secure because it is crippleware, not because it is inherently better through some magic design. Also since it has only a tiny marketshare, people are not actively trying to breach its security. So it is secure because hackers can't be bothered, and not because it has some technical advantages.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      The thing is, Chromebooks are not crippled cheap laptops - they're not like the later netbooks running either bloated or crippled versions of Windows were. They work superbly well for a significant percentage of computer users by providing just the features that are required, frequent and almost invisible painless updates, and neatly avoid a gigantic mountain of potential problems that plague the average clueless user. (Printing is the one thing that is less than brilliantly handled, but it does work with the right printer and you might be surprised at how little many people actually commit to paper anyway.)

      I am hopeful that this rumour is rubbish, as ChromeOS provides a vastly superior solution to anything else available off-the-shelf for its target market; I am sure that most of its detractors either do not deal with that market or haven't seriously tested recent Chromebooks.

      1. jason 7

        Hear Hear! I would rather use a Chromebook for casual and on the go usage than anything else. Carrying around a full fat laptop with all your data on it nowadays just feels overkill. Not to mention a bloody liability if you lose or break it.

        I often think the negativity to ChromeOS is either from those that have never dared to actually sit down with a Chromebook only to find to their horror it actually does 90% of what they need to do in most cases. Or IT Support guys that fear their career is over if it really caught on.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Carrying around a full fat laptop with all your data on it nowadays just feels overkill

          It just feels necessary to me, since I couldn't do my professional or academic work without being able to write, build, and run my own software. And I need to do that when I'm not connected to the Internet. And even when I am, editing code and debugging over a high-latency connection is a right pain; I've done that since the days of 1200 bps modems, and I prefer to avoid it.

          As for writing text ... well, I don't know of a cloud-hosted version of LyX. I suppose I could create my own (or use it remotely through X11, etc), but again I don't see the benefit.

          those that have never dared to actually sit down with a Chromebook only to find to their horror it actually does 90% of what they need to do in most cases

          I really don't believe that it does. Perhaps it does for you, and no doubt it does for many people. But some of us have different use cases.

          I know, it's hard to believe that not everyone is you.

    2. Craigness

      > Chrome OS is a glorified browser with a linux kernel.

      No, it's a full OS with "an actual app ecosystem, broad vendor support, etc" as you claim for Android. Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Asus and Lenovo make Chromebooks.

      > Android...ships with Chrome. So anything that can run on Chrome OS can be quite

      > trivially supported on Android as well.

      No, because they would have to port the API and find a way to get extensions to fit into the UI. Chrome on Android is a very inferior product from a user perspective. Android laptops exist, and they don't sell well.

      > Which is why Chrome OS never made sense from the very day it launched.

      It made sense then and even more so now, with more support and management capabilities.

      > ...you can get a similarly priced laptop that is not crippled.

      No, because a $200 Windows laptop cannot be relied on to anything that you couldn't do better on a Chromebook.

      > This is why Google's latest hybrid laptop and tablet, pixel c, already ships with android.

      I doubt it. You can already get Android laptops, but very few actually do.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: Wow, plenty of morons here!

      Yup. @Mage and @jillesvangurp get downvotes for telling it like it is (as opposed to what the ChromeOS fans want to hear).

      But frankly I don't care; there's too much Google piss-koolaid in either OS for my taste. This is a sinking ship. Everybody underestimates the difficulty of fixing the established Android ecosystem, and of maintaining ChromeOS+Chromium as viable open-source projects. I'm not holding my breath.

      1. Craigness

        Re: Wow, plenty of morons here!

        That article doesn't shed any more light on the matter, it says the number of platforms will be decreased, and not decreased.

        From the Verge:

        ---

        The move marks an effort at Google to reduce the number of independent platforms it has to maintain, sources said.

        A Google spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that both Chrome OS and Android will continue to exist; Chrome OS is not being "killed."

        ---

        The Verge opposes ethics in journalism. Don't give them clicks.

        https://archive.is/2GQSU

        Those guys deserved their downvotes. Not knowing Chrome has an API and repeating the tired old (and wrong) "spyware" comment are not useful to anyone!

        1. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: Wow, plenty of morons here!

          I hope I'm misunderstanding the phrasing of your post. If the Verge opposed "ethics in gaming journalism", that would mean opposing making threats against women who happen to express pronounced feminist views. I realize you may have meant no such thing, but one should be aware of how ongoing controversies can affect the meanings of words and phrases.

  23. teebie

    Well, it worked for Windows

    Help me out here, how does one make it clear that the title of a post is sarcastic?

    1. Craigness

      Re: Well, it worked for Windows

      Hiding a desktop under a tablet UI didn't work, but adding a touch UI to the desktop seems to be going down well. I hope Google noticed that.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    privacy is king.

    If you were scared of windows 10 privacy, chrome OS was decades worse. Overall users win: android is just as creepy as windows 10, but way less than chrome OS.

  25. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Flame

    Androids Love To Roast Marshmallows

    ....and WE look like marshmallows to Google.....

  26. toview

    Has to be false reporting

    The groups are being combined, but Google is pushing ChromeOS. Go to any meeting with Google and you'll see them walking with Chromebooks themselves.

    This report should be probably added to Snopes.

  27. CaptainBanjax

    Awesome

    Chromium BSU is an excellent top down shooter. Glad its coming to Android.

  28. John Savard Silver badge

    From a technical perspective, Chrome OS may be a very good operating system, and certainly Android, especially on smartphones, which present serious issues of upgrading, has had security problems.

    However, for general use as a computing platform, something that doesn't let you install and run software from your hard drive is of limited usefulness. It's not surprising, therefore, particularly given the ability of Google to monetize the App Store, that this makes sense from a business perspective.

  29. Roadcrew
    Coat

    Chrome OS works OK for our lot....

    ...be a pity to lose it, imho.

    (grabs coat and runs out to pub)

    For myself, I install Linux with bigger M.2 SSD &/or fat USB3 micro-sticks which work well.

    Bodhi Linux in particular seems to integrate really well with the not-at-all-expensive Acer 720 - Jeff Hoogland the Bodhi lead developer uses one himself.

    For aged relatives, refugees from MS and the like, Chrome OS seems to work really well, although it does not do all that I like to do on the same hardware. I usually tickle their config to minimise exposure to data hoovering, not that they seem to care.

    <sigh>

    Yes, we had a malware incident on one, a dodgy (free) game from the Play Store thing. Just deleted the offending item, made sure the user data was synched, did the Power Wash, and rebooted and logged him in again. Seems to be good as new.

    Beats the shiny new Lenovo Win8.1 box I bought that arrived pre-loaded with malware!

    Be sad to see Chrome OS diminished.

  30. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Security "experts"?

    Anyone who uses the phrase "the most secure OS" doesn't deserve the title of "security expert". That sort of claim is meaningless, and merely displays both a lack of critical-thinking skills and a rather thorough ignorance of the history and current state of operating systems.

    At most - and even this is suspect - you might rank a group of OSes based on some metric relevant to security in a broad sense. But even then the winner would not be "the most secure", except to users for whom that metric was an overriding aspect of their threat model.

  31. Lostintranslation

    "You don't need an apostrophe here because you are not using the genitive/possessive sense. Now if you had said...."

    Is this the five minute argument or the full half hour?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who in the real world is using Chrome OS in a business environment to do something? Nobody. Android is on more devices than IOS. Microsoft still rules the business World. Next, the same people criticizing this move, also are the first to complain why they can't s-off and unlock their phone and put a custom Rom on it, and bash Apple for that lock down to control things. So which way do you want it? Open-source and freedom, and security to the extent you want it, or an OS taking over your devices that you have to live with their icons/layout/interface/features etc? We saw stagefright, the bad of Android. But if you own an iPhone, you see the one value of that approach of control. On the other hand, don't you just love that new wallpaper they gave you?

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