For Google, while it has a good stronghold in mobile and remains the dominant search engine in traditional computing, more and more, I believe, as Google probably does too, that for it to remain so and potentially strike further blows against its foes, its future lies squarely in the browser and webapps.
Specifically, Chrome OS. There is already evidence that has occurred and we'll see more obvious moves towards that.
Here are a few highlighted events in the last few months that point to this.
- Google I/O was more about Chrome and little about Android. Android is now under Chrome OS management headed by Cundar Pichai while the chief Android Andy Rubin was put on ice.
- Moto X - line of low to mid-range devices that could undercut its Android competitors. Yes, Moto X will get cheaper in the coming months.
- Promoting its own Chromebook and leaving password and security issues on its competing platforms unresolved. Then there's ChromeCast. It's Chrome, not AndroidCast.
All that put together, it seems like Google wants to make sure its services and apps, specifically search, is in the hands of as many users as it can make happen. The best way to make that happen is to sell its own Motorola branded devices on the mid- to low-end and Nexus devices on the high-end.
All the while, it will push Chrome OS on netbooks likes ones its partners make and high-end like its own Pixel. And yes, there will be Chrome OS tablets soon. All that is to make sure it has a place in traditional PC computing.
It all comes down to Chrome OS as Google's best weapon in mobile and traditional computing. Get Chrome OS on mobile, TV, and PCs, it will have always have a place wherever there are people, at work or home. And do it right, Google could make its competitors obsolete.
And Chrome OS and Web standards and features will get better. It ain't gonna happen overnight. This is a mutli-year strategy. Social views will change and, if don't right, Google may convince enough people that all they need is a browser for all their daily mobile or computing needs.
Oh, and Android isn't going away entirely. By bringing its development under Chrome OS management, Google has also made sure Chrome OS will gain some features, probably access to standalone apps until webapps get up to standard. But with possibly less development on Android years down the line, Google's Android competitors will have to find other mobile apps or platforms to use to sell their hardware (Firefox OS, anyone?).