Why Android and Chrome OS Do Not Need to Merge

I've seen a lot of people talking about how Google should merge Chrome OS and Android. I like the idea, but I think it may go down a bit different. Android is a mobile OS. It's still hitting growing pains as developer support extends to tablet apps, so expansion to the laptop/desktop form factor (a segment which Google is trying to reach with the Chromebook) would force the OS into another unfamiliar territory. We'd hear the same complaints about the lack of Chromebook-optimized Android apps that we hear about the lack of Android tablet apps now.

Chrome OS is built on HTML5 apps. Google also allows developers to do a bit more with Chrome APIs, such as unlimited offline storage. If Google can get developers building Chrome apps, they can get users who are on laptops and desktops with any OS to be in the Google ecosystem. Having quality Chrome apps for larger form factors would allow for more versatile devices.

If Android can run full Chrome, then you could plug your phone into a monitor or Motorola Lapdock-style device and have the full Chrome experience. It's not like Google is making big profits off the device sales of Chromebooks, so they don't care if you accomplish the same result with an Android device.

If Chrome for Android matches up to regular Chrome, Google will have consistent experience across smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops without having to strain the Android ecosystem.