Talk of a Chrome OS and Android merger reached a fever pitch yesterday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Google planned to make this happen. The reasoning behind it would be simple — ever since the conception of the two operating systems, Android has always had the upper hand over Chrome OS, and the idea has been floated by media and Google executives alike. However, at least one man believes this isn’t happening, and that man happens to be the recently minted Senior Vice President of Android, Chromecast and — you guessed it — Chrome OS: Hiroshi Lockheimer.
With the whole world buzzing about the apparently likely merger, Lockheimer put out a tweet that said simply “there’s a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are commited to Chrome OS”, adding that he had just bought his kids in first and third grade a Chromebook each to do their schoolwork on — now if that’s not a glowing commendation, then I don’t know what is.
There’s a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are very committed to Chrome OS. I just bought two for my kids for schoolwork!
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) October 30, 2015
While this definitely shuts down talk of a merger in the short term, this story is no doubt going to continue lingering until presumably Chrome OS is made a part of Android or shut down completely. Of course, if we decide to analyse the minute details of Lockheimer’s tweet, particularly the initial part where he says “there’s a ton of momentum for Chromebooks,” we could infer that if sales of Chrome OS were to ever stagnate, Google might consider the merger that apparently everybody is expecting.
Having said that, I don’t see that ever happening — Chrome OS, while duplicating many of the functions of Android, fills a very necessary niche in the world of productivity. While it’s no doubt a bother for Google to maintain both Android and Chrome OS, the fact that Chrome OS is so perfectly suited to school, office and home will probably keep the project going for as long as people still have a couple of hundred dollars to burn on something cheaper than a fully-fledged laptop.