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Google’s Android to Follow the Path of Windows 8

According to a series of rumors from the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Google plans to converge its two operating systems (OS), Android and Chrome OS, much like how Microsoft combined the tablet and desktop versions of Windows in 2012. Although Windows 8 turned out to be a flop for Microsoft, a combined Android and Chrome OS would make far more sense.

Windows 8 failed primarily because it abruptly forced a clunky tablet interface upon users. Many hated the new interface design because Microsoft’s implementation clashed tablet and desktop functionalities without offering any significant advantage over more traditional setups. However, the union between Android and Chrome OS would be far more complementary. While Android is a powerful mobile OS with access to millions of apps, Chrome OS is a solid desktop OS with near-unparalleled security. If they formed one piece of software with a thriving app ecosystem and native desktop functionality, customer response may be far more favorable than Windows 8.

Already, Google has dipped its toe into this idea of a combined operating system several times. In April, the company enabled Chromebooks to run Android apps via the ARC Welder. Although the tool sometimes gave unstable results, it provided a taste of Google Play on Chrome OS.

On the Android side of things, Google announced a Surface and iPad Pro competitor called the Pixel C in October. With its 10.2 inch screen, impressive specifications, and custom-designed keyboard accessory, the tablet was clearly aimed at desktop and laptop users, proving that Google envisioned a less smartphone-centric future for Android.

If Google engineers remain adamant over the merger of Android and Chrome OS, Microsoft’s Windows may face a formidable competitor in the future.


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