By now you have probably seen the WSJ report that says Google plans to fold its Chrome operating system into Android and phase it (and the “Chromebook” name) out over time. Google today published a story on virtually every blog it owns that denies this. “While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there’s no plan to phase out Chrome OS,” Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior VP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, writes today.
It’s no secret that Google has already added some Android features to Chrome OS over time. Indeed, you can already use a select number of Android apps on your Chromebook today.
Lockheimer spends most of the ink in today’s blog post to highlight Chrome OS’s momentum. He notes that more than 30,000 Chromebooks are activated in U.S. classrooms every school day, for example, and that enterprises like Netflix and Starbucks now use Chromebooks for their employees.
So Chrome OS is here to stay (at least for the time being). Will Chrome OS look very different in a few years? Of course — especially once Google gets to the point where Chrome OS can run most Android apps without modifications. But Chrome OS has been a somewhat surprising hit for Google and there’s no reason for the company to kill it off. At the end of the day, Google would rather monetize the web than Android apps anyway.