Google’s Pichai hints at Chome OS / Android convergence

May 31, 2012
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This year at All Things Digital's D10 conference, Google's Senior Vice President of Chome and Applications Sundar Pichai was interviewed by Walk Mossberg, speaking about both Chrome and Android in one. The main object of their discussion, which also included Google's Senior Vice President of Advertising Susan Wojcicki, was indeed Chrome OS but also Chrome as a web browser, and how it's overtaken the former king Internet Explorer in world browser share. Perhaps the most interesting bit of the conversation, on the other hand, sat squarely in the world of Android, and how Pichai saw mobile and not-so-mobile Google operating systems converging.

First it was all about business, with Internet Explorer being pushed out by Chrome more heavily on Windows machines than on Mac, Mossberg asking about "platform dispairity" and finding from Pichai that it's speed that's gaining them the upper hand, but that they're winning on Windows because thats where Chrome as a browser was first developed.

"We are definitely more popular on Windows, but it's because that's where we launched. There are places where our share is over 50 percent today. I think the speed of Chrome is much more notable when you have a slow connection." - Pichai

Speaking next on how the Android world figures in to all this, Pichai had quite a bit more to say, noting that just like some people have an iPhone and a MacBook, soo too could then have a ChromeBook and an Android smartphone. It is here that Pichai makes it relatively clear that through apps, both Chrome and Android are already one, and will continue to move closer to one another as time goes on.

"Android is extremely successful, we couldn't be more proud of it. We have exciting steps ahead with tablets, too. There are many instances where people spend all of their time in the browser.

The notion that, for the first time, your experience is in the cloud. You still run on a local device, CPU, SSD, etc. - but the notion that your computer is actually in the cloud enables zero administration. And from a web console, you can deploy and manage apps. There's no installing software or anything like that.

I think what is important between Android and Chrome OS with users, is that it makes sense. Look at Apple, there's MacBooks and iPhone, and they use different operating systems. Convergence will happen, sure. But look at Gmail - you go from a Chromebook to Android, and it just works." - Pichai

Stick with us as Android and Chrome OS as well as Chrome the browser - which also exists as a mobile browser on Android already - continue to move together. It's one big happy mobile and yet not mobile party!


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