If you couldn’t tell already, we are doing our homework around here to push back against the rampant rumors that Google’s mystery project Andromeda will be “folding Chrome OS into Android” in the future.
While still unsure what Andromeda is exactly, the info we are finding on a daily basis keeps pointing to a bright future for Chrome OS.
It seems people are becoming less and less convinced that Andromeda is some sort of end-all, be-all trajectory for Google. SVP of Chrome, Android, and Play Hiroshi Lockheimer even disputed the need for a binary, this-or-that approach with Android and Chrome OS; opting instead to leave room for a future with both borrowing from one another.
Is Andromeda something being worked on? That much seems legit. But as the days continue to roll by before the eagerly-awaited 10/4 Event, we are all becoming a bit more level-headed as we consider all the facts that surround us regarding Google’s current and tangible OS solutions.
For today’s dose of reality, we need look no further than Google’s own internal job postings.
Before we head over there, let’s remember that back in June (a very short 3 months ago) we – along with other news outlets – discovered a job listing on Google’s Careers page titled “Quality Engineer, Chromebook Pixel.” Some language in the posting had this to say about the job posting (since removed because the job is filled):
As a Quality Engineer, you will be part of shaping Google’s next game-changer.
And then this little nugget:
[applicant must…] Have a strong wireless Consumer Electronics industrial background.
As we did back then, but in our now-Andromeda-drenched world, let’s look at this just for a second. First, the title seems very specific. It is for a Chromebook Pixel. This isn’t for Pixel devices, phones, or tablets. It seems quite clear this job was intended for a Chromebook hardware engineer.
Second, this job is part of shaping Google’s next game-changer. If Andromeda and ‘Bison’ were that game-changer, would they have just hired an engineer in June? And why not hire just a general hardware engineer? Why specifically CHROMEBOOK Pixel?
Third, the job posting had reference to strong wireless Consumer Electronics industrial background. This one is clearly a head-scratcher. The first Pixel had LTE, but that was a side perk. An add-on. This reference seems pointed to something bigger. And, if I were all about Andromeda swooping in and taking over everything, I might take that to be a reference to Andromeda-powered phones or tablets. However, again, this job is clearly about CHROMEBOOKS.
Moving on, we’ve found a couple other job listings of interest.
- Software Engineer, ChromeOS Kernel
- Be responsible for hardware bring up (x86 and/or ARM SOCs), embedded controller development, BIOS programming in Coreboot/U-boot, and kernel development including device drivers, rebasing, backporting, testing, and tuning.
- Software Engineer, Chrome OS
- Work on Chrome OS, Chromebooks, Chromecast, Mobile and future Google devices.
- Participate in various projects including OS kernel, firmware, drivers, audio, video, graphics, factory software and related server-side software.
- Design, develop, test, deploy, maintain and enhance new products and features.
With the titles alone, you can see that Google is actively hiring talented individuals to work on Chrome OS and the Chrome OS Kernel. If Chrome OS wasn’t at the center of what Google is doing right now, why would they be hiring people?
Clearly, they wouldn’t.
Further, you see references to Chromebook-type things (Coreboot, drivers, embedded controllers) in the ChromeOS Kernel job, so this is clearly for more than work on the Google Cloud Platform VM Containers Google is in the process of moving to (more on that tomorrow). Also, in the description for the Chrome OS Software Engineer, we see references to not only Chromebook and Chrome OS, but Mobile and ‘future Google devices.’
What is all this pointing to?
Further evidence that Chrome OS is staying around. I can’t repeat it enough, Google is committed to Chrome OS. I’m just as excited to see where Google is headed and what Andromeda ends up being, but I’m also very invested (both financially and personally) in Chrome OS. I love this platform and all I can do with it. I love its security and simplicity. I love that my immediate and extended family use and enjoy Chromebooks. I love the speed and the performance and I am so excited about upcoming devices.
For you, dear reader, my sincere hope is that you haven’t worried at all through the past week of Andromeda hype/rumors about the state of Chrome OS and Chromebooks. That hope is likely baseless, though, and I’m fully aware. I know that these kind of rumors and speculation can make everyone wonder whether or not their devices will be useless once the new, shiny replacement has come along. Those worries are warranted and real; I speak from experience.
What we want to do here at Chrome Unboxed is quell those fears at least until Google’s 10/4 Event, where some of this should find a bit of clarity. And, even if the event raises more questions, we want to continue showing what Chrome OS is capable of and why we believe it will be here for the long haul.
Stick around through all this. It’s about to get very, very interesting.