Update 11/2: Turns out—nope, they aren’t.
According to an unconfirmed report in the WSJ today, Google Chrome OS will be killed-off over the next year, as the company will focus solely on developing Android for both mobile devices and laptops.
The move by Alphabet‘s Google (that still sounds strange to say) doesn’t come completely out of left field: Sergey Brin himself said, at the time of Chrome OS’ introduction back in 2009, that he felt Google’s two operating systems would at some point merge. Unofficial reports now say that this unification will be made official in 2017; though, we may see newer Chromebooks come shipped with Android by next year.
Google is not the first to introduce a single OS for mobile and desktop devices: Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft’s OS released earlier this year, is designed specifically to provide the same user experience across personal computers and the company’s Surface line of tablets & convertible laptops. Interestingly, in an interview just last month, Apple’s Tim Cook squashed any notion that iOS and OSX would eventually become a single platform, saying that it “subtracts from both”.
There’s been no confirmation from Google as of yet on the fate of Chrome OS—but, given The Journal’s report, expect some kind of release from the company fairly soon. Google isn’t likely to change the name of its Chrome web browser as a result of this.