While Google currently does not see any conflict between its Android vision for tablets and smartphones and its Chrome OS cloud-based laptop vision, a company official acknowledged yesterday that there was potential for such a conflict in the future.
Sundar Pichai, Google senior vice president of Chrome, said such a potential exists for collision or competition, at least in the future. But not today: "We don't think about it in that way currently at all," he said. He said Chrome OS, while currently focused on laptops, could work anywhere. Google is providing choice to users, Pichai said.
The company touted Chrome OS and "Chromebooks" from Acer and Samsung as offering a new model of computing with always-connected devices that are easier to manage and have quick startup times and link to the cloud. With its Chrome OS strategy, detailed at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google clearly has Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows PC platform in its sights.
But the day before at the conference, Google was equally fervent about its Android strategy for tablet and smartphones, noting the upcoming "Ice Cream Sandwich" release of the Android OS that would serve as a united platform for multiple smartphones and tablets. Google also is allowing developers to build Android applications for the Google TV platform, representing a further expansion of Android to a new realm.