Will your next PC be a Google Nexus? A recent “ask maggie” column addressed the question, “Is Google headed toward an Android Nexus PC?” Her conclusion was “when Google challenges Microsoft or Apple on the traditional computing OS battlefield, it won’t likely be armed with Android.”
Where Android and ChromeOS are Today. It’s Competition Too.
Today, Android has taken the dominant position in smart phones, and the number two position in tablets. It’s advancing at a break neck speed, and has easily surpassed it’s only real competition. It’s spread to a significant number of other platforms, such as music players, car stereos, TVs, gaming systems, and even wrist watches and reality augmentation devices. No other operating system in history has done something like this.
ChromeOS has only just begun, and has seen amazing advances since it’s introduction. It started out as a glorified browser, and now has added application functionality and remote storage capability. It also has the ability to run applications through Citrix, making it a feasible stand-in for a Microsoft or Apple based operating system anywhere in the Enterprise market.
Windows has stagnated over the last decade, accomplishing very little of value considering the ten years it’s had to do it. A recent Vanity Fair piece referred to it as “Microsoft’s Lost Decade“. Windows got some flashier graphics in Vista and 7, and then traded them for a travesty of a user interface in Windows 8.
Apple hasn’t done much better on the desktop than Microsoft. OSX has added an App Store type interface, but other than some graphical changes, there’s no significant changes to OSX since it’s arrival in 2001.
Our desktop operating systems have stagnated. Improvements are measured in baby steps rather than leaps and bounds, if they’re improvements at all.
ChromeOS or Android? Where does Nexus Figure into this?
The question that has to be asked now is, why Android? It’s not even a desktop operating system. ChromeOS is. Shouldn’t it be ChromeOS that replaces Windows and OSX, not Android?
True, ChromeOS is the desktop operating system. Android has always taken it’s position on other kinds of systems, never the desktop.
It really comes back to why Google decided to do two different OSs to begin with, and what their plans were.
The Nexus Consolidation.
The thing that no one seems to be taking into consideration is Google’s plans. Maybe it’s because it’s not convenient, or maybe it’s just because their memories are short. We need to think back to 2009. In an interview with CNET, Sergey Brin was asked about ChromeOS and Android, and why the two seperate Operating Systems. His reply was that Android and the Chrome OS “will likely converge over time.” In fact, the two operating systems share a common Webkit and Linux foundation.
Today, we’ve already seen Google add the Chrome Browser to the Android operating system. Much of the ChromeOS functionality is already incorporated with Android Jellybean. All that remains is the right hardware to bring the two operating systems together.
This is where Nexus comes in.
Nexus systems are designed by Google to Google’s specifications. It could be that the first Nexus “PC” could be a hybrid device, similar to the Motorola Atrix or the ASUS PadFone. We’ve already seen such a hybrid type system with Ubuntu for Android. When in “phone mode”, it’s Android. When it’s docked, it becomes a more desktop type system. Google’s moves to combine the functionality of the two OSs would make a move like this easy. Both systems are already Linux. Both systems already have use WebKit. Both systems are already Google.
The Nexus Solution.
A Nexus based PC would solve any number of problems with the PC. Files would be stored in the cloud, making it infinitely more secure and easily backed up. Lost hardware could be shutdown and wiped from a distance. A dock at home and a dock at work would be all that’s required. Your pocket is your new laptop case. Any location with a dock is a your home workstation.
Google has already gotten themselves into a position to implement a consolidation of Android and ChromeOS. All that Google needs now is the hardware. This is why your next computer just might be a Nexus computer.