Google: Android is for touch, Chrome OS is for keyboards

By on November 16, 2010, 1:24 PM
As you probably already know, Google is currently working on two operating systems: the Android OS, which has taken the smartphone world by storm and which is starting to show up on tablets, as well as Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system aimed primarily at netbooks. So how is Google going to differentiate the two? The company has finally come out and explained this big question.

At his talk during the Web 2.0 Summit, Google CEO Eric Schmidt confirmed that the next release of Android (version 2.3) will arrive in a few weeks and Chrome OS will officially be out in the next few months on Intel and ARM-powered netbooks. He also added that Android is tailored for mobile devices with touchscreens while Chrome OS is primarily designed around something with a keyboard (traditional computers such as PCs, netbooks, and laptops), according to Mashable. That's not to say that Android devices can't have keyboards or that Chrome OS can't do touch; it's just a generalization to explain the main differentiator.

Given Android's popularity and rapid growth, Google's strategy is an odd one. Android has a browser built on the same Webkit rendering engine as Chrome OS. It also offers access to over 100,000 apps in the Android Marketplace. Some of these use the Internet and others are native to the device. Chrome OS, on the other hand, is all about the Web. Essentially, it's really an OS that loads a browser. Since all apps are web-based, aside from some local caching features, the OS pretty much requires an Internet connection. It would follow that Chrome OS is aimed at smartphones and Android is for netbooks, but somehow the opposite is going to happen.





User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
princeton princeton said:

Hmm. Usually when I see his face I expect a really stupid comment. Maybe the PR people at google told him to shut his mouth?

taea00 said:

I really don't get why Google is competing with their self. Sure they stated the OSes are for two separate platforms, but why wouldn't they just focus on one OS and make it for all platforms. You'd have a level of standardization that'd make life easier.

I think this'll just confuse people and will hurt Chrome OS in the long run imo. I can someday see down the line these two OSes either merging or one going away completely.

It really seems to me like 2 different people just started workign on their own OSes and then brought it before separate head haunchos and said "I have an OS!" So each head hauncho then started it in production and by the time the left hand spoke to the right hand they had already invested time and money and just decided to keep going.

I really don't get this move Google.

Uvindu said:

taea00 said:

I really don't get why Google is competing with their self. Sure they stated the OSes are for two separate platforms, but why wouldn't they just focus on one OS and make it for all platforms. You'd have a level of standardization that'd make life easier.

I think this'll just confuse people and will hurt Chrome OS in the long run imo. I can someday see down the line these two OSes either merging or one going away completely.

It really seems to me like 2 different people just started workign on their own OSes and then brought it before separate head haunchos and said "I have an OS!" So each head hauncho then started it in production and by the time the left hand spoke to the right hand they had already invested time and money and just decided to keep going.

I really don't get this move Google.

Good analogy (and congratz again for winning)! True, this is stupid on googles behalf. This is going to make product management more difficult as well as confusing many consumers.

vangrat said:

taea00 said:

I really don't get why Google is competing with their self. Sure they stated the OSes are for two separate platforms, but why wouldn't they just focus on one OS and make it for all platforms. You'd have a level of standardization that'd make life easier.

I think this'll just confuse people and will hurt Chrome OS in the long run imo. I can someday see down the line these two OSes either merging or one going away completely.

It really seems to me like 2 different people just started workign on their own OSes and then brought it before separate head haunchos and said "I have an OS!" So each head hauncho then started it in production and by the time the left hand spoke to the right hand they had already invested time and money and just decided to keep going.

I really don't get this move Google.

I can understand your confusion, and in fact on the surface it does seem to be a silly move. However, by focusing their efforts on two different OS platforms they are only following in the footsteps of every other OS maker out there, e.g. iOS and (insert your MAC OS here), WinMob/Win Phone 7 and (Insert Win OS here), Linux...wait does linux have a mobile distro? By separting the touch market from the keyboard market, they make sure to focus their efforts on the areas that people truly want with each. An all inclusive platform would only lead them down the road of Windows 7 on a tablet PC...yes nice in theory, bad in practice.

Guest said:

Chrome OS is a new computing platform that leverages the power of the cloud. These new netbooks/notebooks will have no optical drive and no hard drive. All of the applications are housed on thousands of servers in Google's many data centers. This results in instant on and immediate access to the Web, email, media content, document creation etc. with incredible performance. Chrome OS is designed to support most activities we enjoy on our PC's. Chrome OS is not designed to replace a full-blown desktop OS like Windows7 for uber-complex applications. I for one, am very excited about what Chrome OS brings to the table and can't wait to see some new hardware at CES in Jan. Android is for phones, tablets, TV's, vehicle devices and anything else that Google can embed it into. I'm waiting for an Android frig that will inventory all of my food, tell me when items will expire, generate shopping lists based on what I consume, etc. I'm being perfectly serious here.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.