[SAN FRANCISCO] Google is merging its stripped-down Chrome operating system for affordable laptops into its Android software for mobile devices, a person familiar with the matter said.
The combined software will probably be previewed in 2016 and debut the following year, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn't yet public. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
The move represents a unification between two software platforms whose dividing line has blurred in recent years, as mobile phones take on more of the capabilities of traditional computers. Last month, Google announced plans to sell a tablet running the latest version of its Android software that can also double as a laptop. Google's Chromecast devices, which people use to control televisions and speakers, already run on a distilled version of Android.
Lily Lin, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment.
Google acquired the Android software in 2005 with its acquisition of Android Inc. Chrome OS, which shares roots with the Chrome browser, was developed in-house and was unveiled in 2009 as the company sought to embed its services into traditional computers. Google will continue to develop the Chrome browser, the person said.