Gmail Creator Paul Buchheit: Chrome OS Will Perish Or "Merge" With Android

Former Googler, FriendFeed founder and Facebook-er turned investor Paul Buchheit just tweeted this zinger:

Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android)

Considering his former employer just launched the Chrome OS pilot program last week, the comment may sting a little over at Mountain View, although it should be noted Buchheit is hardly the only one predicting that Google’s Linux-based operating system will go the way of the Wave soon enough.

Google to date has posited that Android and Chrome OS, its two operating systems, address different markets that will remain distinct despite the growing convergence of the devices they run on (netbooks, tablets, smartphones). Google co-founder Sergey Brin, however, has stated in the past that Google will likely “produce a single OS down the road”.

Ironically, the key architect of the Chrome OS project, Matthew Papakipos, left Google over the Summer — for a job at Facebook, Paul Buchheit’s most recent former employer.

If the man’s less-than-140-characters prediction is right on the money, Android will become the dominant operating system – and considering its current traction, that would hardly be a surprise – while Chrome OS will perish before 2011 is over.

Update: more from Buchheit in the FriendFeed thread:

ChromeOS has no purpose that isn’t better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display).

I was thinking, “is this too obvious to even state?”, but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason.

Do you agree with his assertion, or do you think Chrome OS and Android can co-exist?