Rumors of Chrome OS and Android merging into one operating system have seemingly been happening nearly as long as the two operating systems have existed alongside each other.
Sergey Brin even reportedly mentioned as far back as 2009 that the two would likely one day converge.
Late on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google plans to fold Chrome OS into Android, citing people familiar with the matter, adding that Google engineers have been working for two years to combine the operating systems, having made new progress.
The report indicates that Google plans to unveil the new single operating system in 2017, while showing off an early version next year. It also says the new combined version of will give PC users access to the Google Play store. Technically, they already have access, so I’ll take this to mean they’ll be able to use Android apps on PCs. Chrome OS will remain as an open source OS that Google engineers will maintain, it says.
Google has responded to the report, downplaying any notion that Chrome OS is going away, but not exactly denying its accuracy.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Android, Chromecast, Chrome OS tweeted this:
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
The future of the two operating systems as described by the Journal could still be seen as in line with that tweet. It does say Chrome OS will be maintained by Google even as it’s open source, and it does not say that Chromebooks are going away, which considering said momentum, would be ridiculous.
In August, NPD reported that Chromebooks were outselling Windows laptops.
Image via Google