Update November 2: A Google spokesperson tells VentureBeat that both Chrome OS and Android will continue to exist and Chrome OS is not being “killed.”
Google plans to “fold” its web-only desktop operating system, Chrome OS, into Android by 2017, the Wall Street Journal claims.
Translation: Chrome OS is probably dead. Or, at least it’s dying, because Android sure isn’t going anywhere. We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation.
The merger has apparently been in the works for two years, the Journal details, and Google may have something to show for it as early as next year. A final version is apparently slated for release in 2017.
Such a move will ultimately lead to the end of Chrome, the report details, as demand for mobile devices outpaces the need for lightweight desktop environments like Chrome OS.
Chrome OS, circa 2009
Google first announced Chrome OS in 2009 following years of rumors. At the time, Google’s Sundar Pichai (now Google’s CEO) called Chrome OS an “attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.” More, from Pichai:
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
With this major change to Google’s product lineup, the company will reportedly sunset the Chrome OS and Chromebook name — but the “Chrome” browser isn’t going anywhere. Perhaps Google also plans to swap the Chromecast moniker for something more Android-y?