Android vs. Chrome

12:40 PM -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has two operating systems now, Android and Chrome, and this doesn't seem to bother anybody at the company. At least not outwardly. Questions about it at this week's Chrome notebook launch (pictures here) got deflected with a shrug. There's room for both OSes in the world, officials said.

Actually, the truth isn't even that well organized. Android was an OS envisioned for mobile devices, and Chrome, separately, was one envisioned for laptops, and -- that's pretty much all the planning that's gone into this, says Brian Rakowski, Google's director of product management.

There's no master plan, no eventual convergence, not even any furrowed brows over what Google might have to do if both OSs end up being successful. Chrome was even sort of a stealth project, in a literal sense, started without the knowledge of CEO Eric Schmidt (who was sternly opposed to having Google develop a computer OS).

But Google isn't taking Chrome so casually. They wouldn't have invited the local TV media to a geeky OS discussion if they didn't think it had big potential. Inside Google, they're probably hoping hard that both OSs get ensconced and even start to overlap. And I think they really don't have any idea what happens at that point.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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