Here’s where the speculation gets interesting. Google just rearranged the deck chairs in its mobile operating system business. Android founder Andy Rubin is out. His team is combined with the Chrome OS team that enabled the Chromebook with both groups run by Chrome OS leader Sundar Pichai.
Perhaps the shift is a sign there was some big debate that Rubin lost. Or maybe the still-young entrepreneur just got bored running a big business and wanted to start the next big thing.
In any case, under a new leader, Google is at least as prone as it was in the past to pioneering something new like an Android notebook. Indeed Pichai might even consider a Chrome OS handset, perhaps a lower cost smartphone for that feature phone market Spreadtrum and others are riding in China and other emerging markets.
The speculation spawns questions: What’s the difference in memory and processing power for Chrome OS vs. Android? What new user scenarios might emerge for Chrome OS smartphones? Would Google and its partners tolerate so much Android and Chrome OS overlap?
Strategically, both initiatives make sense for Google. An Android notebook could be a coup de grace blow on Microsoft’s WinRT. A Chrome OS handset might stop Mozilla’s mobile bid before it got off the ground.
There are plenty of unanswered questions ahead. I’ve got one for you: Would you build or use an Android notebook or a Chrome OS handset?
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