What makes more logical sense is that android run-times etc will be included in ChromeOS so that you can run android apps. I suspect this might be the case however we won't know for a bit yet so it's a guessing game.
The Google exec running both Android and Chrome has tried to pour cold water on the story that Mountain View is merging its mobile platforms. Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, has tweeted: There’s a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are very committed to Chrome OS. I just …
Saturday 31st October 2015 04:22 GMT Your alien overlord - fear me
Different underlying operating systems. You'll have trouble putting a secure Android OS onto an insecure Chrome OS.
Chrome OS is to promote Google cloud so you'll need an always-on unlimited internet connection. And if you can afford that from UK 4G operators, you can afford either a decent laptop or tablet.
Friday 30th October 2015 13:57 GMT Philip Storry
Let's be honest here - the WSJ is not a particularly technical publication.
So when someone from Google said "we've been working for a couple of years to merge them", they heard "only one product will survive".
When in actual fact, the Google representative probably meant "we've been working on getting ARC (Android Runtime for Chrome) for two years, and in 2017 we think a Chromebook will be able to run Android apps so well it'll really blur the boundaries".
WSJ in "knows nothing and doesn't do research" shocker!
Friday 30th October 2015 14:09 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th October 2015 14:10 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th October 2015 14:13 GMT Spiracle
Providing a common kernel and Chrome browser application would have pretty much the same effect as merging the OSs - they've been doing some work towards this with Chrome Custom Tabs and the like already.
If they produce a desktop style launcher and overlapping window manager for Android then that could be their consumer laptop OS of choice, benefiting from the brand transfer from phones and tablets. ChromeOS could march on in the education sector as 'Google Schoolbook' or something similar.
Friday 30th October 2015 13:59 GMT Anonymous Coward
"Android and ChromeOS are poles apart on security, with the former a target of malware writers, the latter less so."
Well, you can pretty much tell how successful a platform is by whether malware writers bother to target it. I think that's more a comment on market share than on platform security.
Friday 30th October 2015 14:16 GMT DrXym
There shouldn't have been a need to merge
It's weird there were two different OSes to begin with. I suspect that Google like most large companies ended up with two in-house teams with similar but incompatible ideas for low cost devices and didn't have the guts to strategically pick one over the other.
Android is great for tablets but its mouse and keyboard support can be generously described as perfunctory. If Google had concentrated on fixing that and putting in a desktop mode then there wouldn't have been a need for ChromeOS. Android would have served both purposes.
Friday 30th October 2015 14:18 GMT Anonymous Coward
Honestly, I don't know about Android being the "target of malware writers". Seriously, how many times has anyone here had to clean up a malware infested phone/tablet? In real life.
And I don't mean the apps that require more permissions than what they should need - since the owner actually agreed to allow that.
Compare that to a laptop/desktop, even with AV.
The trouble with Android isn't the fact that it's insecure by design (it isn't), but the fact that once a vulnerability is found, the damn things don't get updated - and they're not locked in to only installing apps from a single source.
Friday 30th October 2015 14:56 GMT lotus49
Chrome OS would be missed (at least by me)
My employer (FTSE 100 for which I am the CISO) is likely to roll out Google Desktop (particularly email, calendar, Drive) in the near future so I have been evaluating Chrome OS as part of the future road map.
It takes a bit of getting used to but Chrome OS has some real advantages in terms of OS verification at boot and simple management. I would be very disappointed if it were to be killed off.
Chrome OS use has ramped up slowly but it fits neatly with Google's cloudy strategy. Being able to run Android programs would be useful but killing it off entirely would be a shame.
Friday 30th October 2015 15:23 GMT Paul Crawford
Re: Chrome OS would be missed (at least by me)
For certain user groups Chrome OS is pretty good. Given that a lot of folk only really need web & email, plus some basic calendar, document edit & spreadsheet support its got them and locked down so you have to try spectacularly hard to screw it up.
Of course, the Google spying is not nice, and if you want much else its kind of barren, but for the price and security its hard to beat.
1. Given our glorious leaders want to spy on our every on-line activity anyway, having Google whore you from advertiser to advertiser is probably less of a risk if you don't conform to the norms of the day/party in charge :(
Friday 30th October 2015 16:26 GMT Stevie
Friday 30th October 2015 22:42 GMT zebm
Reading this on my Acer C720
Great for browsing the web (though I constantly have the plugins tab opened so I can re-enable Flash when on BBC IPlayer) except when you open up a few heavyweight tabs and the machine grinds to a halt. I do trivial content creation and occasionally re-enable developer mode to play with a Linux distribution - not too keen on remote desktopping to the cloud.
Not too sure about wanting to run Android apps as I imagine permission management is going to be a problem - it currently is on my phone.
Sunday 1st November 2015 14:14 GMT Anonymous Coward
If Google has been merging ChromeOS and Android for 2 years, they must have reasons... since the tech is all crap, we're talking about business/logistic strategy. I can imagine a few:
1. Chrome OS was a hedge on "HTML5 webapps are the future". Seemed like a good bet in 2008-09 but it hasn't panned out so well.
2. Consolidation. Having two in-house Linux flavors leads to confusion, bugs, fiefdoms, and... expense.
3. ChromeOS (along with CoreOS) is based on Gentoo which is maintained by a bunch of yahoos who probably don't have Google's corporate interests at heart. Systemd could be a sticking point: AFAIK Google went all-in on systemd, but in Gentoo it's optional, non-default, unloved, not exactly "fully supported"... which means Google's probably got a ton of package mods that get whacked by every other upstream update. What a pain in the ass. <Points and yells "systemd losers... HA-hah!">