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RIP, Chrome OS

Published Oct 29th, 2015 5:22PM EDT
Google Chrome OS Is Dead
Image: Google Inc.

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It was nice not really knowing you, Chrome OS. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is planning to effectively kill off Chrome OS and fold its best components into Android by 2017. Chrome OS, for those who don’t know, is the operating system that is used to run Google’s Chromebook line of laptops that are low-storage machines that rely on cloud computing to perform most tasks.

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So why is Chrome OS going away? Basically, Google would like to have Android be one mobile system that works the safe way across devices similar to what Microsoft has done with Windows 10.

“Google’s new version of Android will also run PCs, giving users access to Google’s Play store, which offers more than one million apps,” WSJ reports. “Google wants to get its software and moneymaking services such as Search and YouTube on as many devices as possible. It also hopes to curry favor with independent developers, whose apps will work on more devices with fewer modifications.”

If Google successfully merges Chrome into Android, it will leave Apple as the one holdout that maintains two completely separate operating systems for mobile and desktop/laptop computers. Apple has said for years that it will never merge OS X and iOS but new projects such as its laptop-tablet hybrid iPad Pro suggest it’s at least giving the matter a little thought.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.