A couple weeks back we saw the latest consequence of Google’s Alphabet reorganization, as the company tapped a new exec to head up its Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast programs. And as we look forward to seeing what Hiroshi Lockheimer can do with the position, how much longer will those those three focal points be treated as distinct efforts? A new report says it’s just a matter of time before we see Google merge Chrome OS and Android, and a unified OS could debut as soon as 2017.

So say sources close to The Wall Street Journal, and while the final merged OS may not be available until 2017, we could get an early preview sometime next year.

From the sound of things, Android will remain the dominant brand, with Chrome OS being absorbed into Google’s smartphone platform. Granted, Android’s hardly just for smartphones anymore, so it makes enough sense to see even more laptops added to the list of Android-powered hardware.

As for that hardware, the Chromebook name would also go away, and some new name might emerge to designate these models (maybe Pixel?) – it doesn’t seem likely we’ll get a Nexus laptop. None of this would change how Google markets its web browser, which would remain as Chrome.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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