Is Google Merging Android and Chrome OS? Android Head Andy Rubin Steps Down

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Andy Rubin, the man in charge of Google’s wildly successful Android operating system for the past several years, is leaving his position.

Google CEO Larry Page announced the change on an official Google blog post earlier today. He praised Rubin for guiding Android to its current position as the most-used mobile operating system in the world, with more than 750 million devices activated around the world. Page wished Rubin success in his next role at Google and it sounds like Rubin’s departure from his current position was voluntary, rather than something imposed on him.

So, what’s next for Android?

We don’t know for sure, but we have some pretty strong clues to look at. The new head of Android will be Sundar Pichai, Google’s current senior VP of Chrome and Apps. He’ll hold on to his current duties and also assume Rubin’s old ones.

Photo credit: Google

Android and Chrome.

Are you seeing the connection?

It looks very clear that Google is thinking long-term here, to a point in time when Android and Chrome OS are merged into a single operating system. Call it “Chromedroid” or “Androme” or whatever you want. What’s important is that Google’s crystal ball is now showing the same thing most of us have seen for months: it makes no sense for Google to continue down divergent paths for its two operating systems.

In some ways, today could end up being a crucial point in the story of Google in the 21st century. Apple’s stock is suffering and consumers are getting bored with the staleness of iOS. Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been a runaway success. Global dominance in not only mobile operating systems, but operating systems in general, is there for the taking for Google.

It could be years before we see the end result of today’s corporate shuffle and potential change in strategy for Google, but we’ll be able to look back on this point as the precise moment it started.

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