As long as we’ve been covering Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and all the other hardware Google drops Chrome OS onto, there’s been a running theme or two that have followed the not-quite-fledgling operating system: “it’s just a browser” and “Chrome OS is Dead.”
Looking at the current landscape of Chrome OS and Chromebooks both available and coming soon, most people can see both of these ongoing tropes are far from the actual truth. Chrome OS is growing and is more prevalent and relevant now than it has ever been before.
And, according to those in charge at Google, the only plan is onward and upward from here.
In a Fireside Chat at Google I/O 2019 with Hiroshi Lockheimer, the 30 minute conversation covered many things (Lockheimer is SVP over Chrome, Chrome OS, Android and Play after all), but the part that got me more excited than any other was when the talk shifted to Chrome OS and it’s future with Google. You see, Fuchsia (the early development OS being openly worked on by Google that has an unclear future) is the current carrier of the “Chrome OS is Dead” mantra, even though no one at Google has ever said anything close to that.
For some reason there has long been a fascination with Chrome OS and Android merging into a single OS and/or Fuchsia coming along to replace both. Instead, it would seem, Google is using Fuchsia as a test bed for lots of stuff outside laptops and tablets and they don’t foresee Fuchsia supplanting Android or Chrome OS at all.
Instead, the comments from Lockheimer go something like this:
Chrome OS, I’m very excited about. Of course I’m going to say that, but I genuinely think Chrome OS has a real shot.
It was developed in a modern age…which makes it a really interesting operating system for the future of computing. So, we’re investing a lot in Chrome OS. I think we have a real shot commercially: it’s been doing great. Chrome OS has been growing like crazy. We’re growing significantly.
We want pretty much everyone in the world to be able to [work from a Chromebook as their primary computing device].
He goes on to make other points in the roughly 10 minutes he spends on Chrome OS and I encourage you to watch the video we dropped in the article above. The big takeaway, thought, is the fact that as the lead over Chrome and Chrome OS, Lockheimer is very clear that Google sees Chrome OS as the future of laptop/tablet computing from an ideal development standpoint.
He goes on to say:
Fuchsia is an invesmetn by us in sort of modernizing and trying out new concepts around operating systems. Whenever you see someone saying ‘here’s a phone running Fuchsia’, that’s really not our goal. It’s not about replacing Android or replacing Chrome OS. There are all kinds of devices that require operating systems. It’s not just phones and PCs.
With that statement and his clear excitement around Chrome OS, we feel quite confident that Chrome OS and Chromebooks are here for the long haul. The next time you see or hear anyone say Chrome OS is “just a browser” or that “Chrome OS is dead,” feel free to refer them back to this article.
One last quote from this Fireside Chat before we wrap up that should make any Chromebook fan smile:
We’re going to be better than those things (Windows and MacOS). No, honestly, I really do think Chrome OS has the guts of being the future of the next generation of computing. With the right set of applications, it really has the ability to be the next generation of touch/keyboard melded experience.