The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell last week when it reported that Google planned to merge Chrome OS with Android and phase out the Chrome OS we've come to know and love. Googlers (including Android/Chrome head Hiroshi Lockheimer) reiterated the company's commitment to Chrome OS. Now, Google has made a post on the Chrome blog to set the record straight once and for all—Chrome OS isn't going anywhere.
In case you missed it, the WSJ report claimed that Google would show off the combined Chrome/Android OS in 2016, but it would not be ready for use on new devices until 2017. It also said that the devices we currently know as Chromebooks would get a new name to match the new OS. Google's blog post from Lockheimer makes it clear that Chrome OS and Android aren't merging. In fact, all Chromebooks are guaranteed to get Chrome OS updates for five years from release.
Google also points out that it has been expanding Chrome OS recently with the Chromebook for work program and the upcoming Asus Chromebit, which can turn any monitor into a Chrome OS box. Google is committed to Chrome OS, which makes you wonder where this WSJ story came from. A later report from Re/code pointed to a plan to revamp Android to work properly on a laptop form factor. It's possible the Wall Street Journal got the same information, but interpreted it differently (I think we can say wrongly now).
So, you don't need to worry about Chrome OS dying. The rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated. Google is working on bringing the best features of Chrome OS and Android together, but they will remain distinct products.
- Google Chrome Blog