Google Founder Points To Chrome-Android Merger

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that Android and Chrome will likely converge over time into a single operating system

The co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, has suggested that Android and Chrome are likely to merge in the future.

It was back in early July this year that Google launched its new Chrome OS, an operating system project that was separate from Android, and was instead targeted at PCs. Google Android on the other hand was launched back in November 2007 and is an operating system aimed at mobile handsets and netbooks.

The introduction of Chrome got plenty of attention, mostly because it was a PC operating system from arguably Microsoft’s most serious rival. However the move raised some eyebrows as Google effectively now had a stable of two open source-based operating systems.

But the Google’s future strategy for its two operating systems became clearer last week, after Brin spoke informally to reporters following the company’s Chrome OS presentation last Thursday. “Android and Chrome will likely converge over time,” he reportedly said, citing among other things the common Linux and Webkit code base present in both projects.

There was no word on possible timeframes for this to happen, or indeed which operating system will form the basis of the new OS, or if it will be a straight combination of the best bits of Android and Chrome.


That said, Android is a real product that is available now (version 2.0 was released in late October), whereas the Chrome operating system is only expected to reach end users in late 2010 (Google released Chrome to developers last week).

It remains to be seen whether Brin’s off-the-cuff comments really will reflect Google’s future operating system strategy. For the foreseeable future however, the money seems to be on Google continuing to invest in two separate operating systems.