Former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said what many people are thinking (or hoping for). On his FriendFeed page, Buchheit made a post titled "Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or "merged" with Android)." In it, he bluntly says that Google's netbook-centric Chrome OS is as good as dead.
"Yeah, I was thinking, 'is this too obvious to even state?', but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason," Buchheit writes. "Because ChromeOS has no purpose that isn't better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display)."
Last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to differentiate Android and Chrome OS. He tried to explain why Google was working on a second operating system by saying 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).
That may be true, but Android is already appearing on various non-touch devices. Separately, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), which comes out next year, is supposed to feature tablet-specific improvements so the different types of devices we'll see it on will continue to grow.