Google Chrome OS & Android "may merge closer"; CEO Schmidt opposed development

Google's CEO and the search giant's co-founders took to the stage this week to discuss Chrome OS, the future of Android and other open-source issues, revealing that the two headline-grabbing platforms – one ostensibly for smartphones, the other for netbooks – have "a great deal of commonality" and "may merge even closer."  CEO Eric Schmidt also made clear that Google do not envisage Chrome OS as a direct Windows competitor; in fact, he said, "Microsoft is welcome to put Internet Explorer on our operating system."

"Microsoft is welcome to put Internet Explorer on our operating system, [though] it's highly unlikely they would do it.  They would have to port it and the port is not trivial...the ball is in their court.  All of it is open.  Even if we had an evil moment [and tried to block Microsoft], we would be unsuccessful." Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google

Echoing recent discussion about whether a browser-based work environment is a realistic proposal, Schmidt also revealed that he was resistant to the idea of both the Chrome browser and the Chrome OS when co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page first suggested it six years ago.  "I wanted the operating system to kind of be out of the way," Page explained, "if you live your life in the browser maybe you don't want all the stuff that came from Eric's generation."

The trio also touched on Twitter and Facebook, neither of which they now perceive as a threat – or at least not publicly, anyway – and which they have no intention of going into competition with; "we have a rule of not doing what everybody else does" said Schmidt.  As for revenue streams, they believe display advertising "is likely to be the next billion-dollar business at Google."

[via Android Community]