Google's two well-renowned operating systems, Chrome OS and Android, will soon be fused into one, signifying the Mountain View-based company's aim to concentrate its power on mobile computing.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a few people familiar with the matter, reveals Google may show off an early version of the united OS as early as next year. However, Google reportedly plans to unveil the official version of the single OS by 2017.
For two years now, according to the two sources, engineers at Google have been working on merging the two OSes.
The Journal's sources also add that Google wishes to get its software on as many devices as possible. This includes moneymaking services such as YouTube and Search. At the same time, this is also seen as beneficial to independent developers, as their developed apps will soon work on more devices with lesser modifications.
Another report from The Verge confirms that the joint Android and Chrome OS will be exhibited at Google I/O next year. This latest move from Google suggests the company's plans in reducing the number of independent platforms it is currently maintaining.
Android To Run Laptops and Desktop Computers
Merging these two OSes means Android will soon power desktop computers and laptops, leading to a slew of changes, including giving users access to the Play Store, offering millions of apps for various devices.
During a call last week, Google's boss Sundar Pichai, who led the creation of the Chrome OS way back in 2009, told analysts that "mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today."
Currently, Android is deemed as the most widely used OS across the globe, powering over one billion smartphones and other devices built by a wide array of companies. Meanwhile, Chrome OS runs on personal computers, usually laptops, referred to as Chromebooks. Research firm IDC disclosed that Chromebooks are niche players, accounting for less than three percent of PCs. This means Chromebooks hold a specialized and profitable chunk of the commercial market.
Microsoft earlier adopted an identical approach, developing versions of its popular Windows 10 OS to run both on phones and PCs. This permits quite a few apps to run on both devices.
Apple, however, decided to maintain its two OSes: OS X for its Mac computers and iOS for phones and tablets. Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, believes combining these two "subtracts from both, and you don't get the best experience from either."