Monday, October 24, 2011

Need To Fold Chrome OS Into Android

By far, Android is the most dominant mobile OS in the world.  I'm not sure there is any market where it isn't dominating.  Of course, the mobile war is far from over.  It may never be over.  But at the same time, I've heard more than a few posts where Google seems to be getting in the way of its continuing dominance.

Buying Motorola has its large partners thinking twice about trusting Google in the long-term and has a few of them running into the embrace of its arch-rival, Microsoft.  More importantly, it is the message that Google is trying to convey.

It has Android and Chrome OS.  And through they're not in direct competition with each other, largely because Chrome OS has not been received well in the marketplace, Google's partners does not seem to know where it wants to go.

Google wants to sell ads in search - hence, it is willing to give Android and Chrome OS away.  But Chrome OS more than Android, it's a browser based experience and that is where it can sell more ads than on Android.  Android, obviously, it more standalone app based.  Not much opportunity to make money there for Google.  At the same time, other search companies like Baidu or Amazon have usurped Android for this own financial gains.

I imagine Google is kind of conflicted.  It's why I think Motorola's play was more about finding a way to get into the hardware business where its more lucrative.  It isn't about the patent profolio that Motorola brings to the patent war right with Apple and Microsoft.  And that's why HTC and Samsung have signaled that they're looking to rely less on Android.

But Android will be around.  It'll never go away.  It's what Google needs to do to make sure it can make money off it.  That's why Chrome OS should be folded into Android.  Over time, the browser will gain more sophistication, to the point where a HTML app is indistinguishable from a standalone Java app from the Marketplace.

Furthermore, a Chrome browser with access to the Chrome app store on a tablet will make Android tablets more appealing over time.

After the Holidays, Google should look into this.  Android 4 is pretty awesome but it would have made a bigger splash had Google said that a standalone Chrome browser that will give users all the experiences of a Chromebook would be available.

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