When two become one: Google to fold Chrome OS into Android

The two operating systems will no longer exist as separate entities.

Seriously, who didn’t see this coming? According to the Wall Street Journal, Google announced that it will fold its desktop-based Chrome OS into the Android mobile operating system.

The company plans to unveil a new, single operating system in 2017, and there will be a preview of what’s to come next year, sources said. There’s no word on whether that will affect Android’s current standing. We’ll likely see more details crop up around Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, in 2016. Chromebooks will also stick around, but they’ll get a new name, and the company plans to stick with the Chrome name for its browser, given its popularity.

The story behind the story: The news shouldn’t be too surprising for those who’ve been following along with both Chrome and Android’s trajectories. Last month, Google announced the Pixel C alongside its new Nexus devices. It’s positioned as an Android-based productivity tablet rather than a desktop replacement. In the past, the Pixel moniker has typically been associated with Chrome OS products, but since the Pixel C is running Android Marshmallow, it seemed like an obvious hint at what was on the horizon.

Overall, this is another move on Google’s part to consolidate its business. It could also help Android in the long run as it slowly transforms into a better productivity platform.

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Florence Ion

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