Google Chairman Eric Schmidt this week addressed rumors that the online advertising giant would combine its two computing platforms, Android and ChromeOS, into a single OS. He said they’d remain separate but “could” have more overlap. It’s unclear, however, whether Schmidt is communicating the firm’s official strategy.
Indeed, no actual quote from Schmidt is currently available. Instead, news of the executive’s comments comes courtesy of Reuters, which saw Schmidt speak during a business trip in India. According to the report, “Google’s Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products but could have more overlap, executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said.”
TechCrunch has added a bit of color to the story, noting that Schmidt previously suggested that the merging of the two OSs could in fact occur over time. “We’re working overtime to get those technologies merged in the right way,” Schmidt said back in 2011. “I learned a long time ago: Don’t force technology to merge when it’s not ready. Wait for the technology to mature to the point when it can be merged.” The publication also notes that Schmidt used the word “commonality” this week in India to describe ways in which the two systems could evolve in lock-step.
Speculation about the possible combining of Android and ChromeOS arose last week when Google revealed that it was placing both OSs under the aegis of executive Sundar Pichai, as discussed in "Andy Rubin Is Stepping Down from Google's Android Business." Many believe that Pichai’s rise—he previously controlled Google’s Chrome and Apps businesses—suggests that Google would standardize ChromeOS as its only OS. But with Android as the more capable alternative, I’ve theorized that any combining should go in the opposite direction because, after all, the Chrome browser already runs on Android.
With Google’s next major event, Google I/O, scheduled for May, many likewise believe that show would be the logical time for the firm to discuss its OS plans. But Schmidt’s comments appear to have preempted that possibility.
Reuters also reports that Schmidt has no plans to leave Google, as has been rumored. “Google is my home,” he said, describing the rumors as “completely false.” At least we got an actual quote on that one.