"And Pichai killed a project to develop a version of Android for touchscreen laptops..."
"...it overlapped with Chromebooks—shifting attention toward tablets and new categories such as smart TVs and wearable computers. "
I KNEW IT! I knew it's Sundar Pichai the one that refuses to put Android on notebooks. He knows as soon as he does that, his ChromeOS baby is as good as dead.
But to me it makes no sense to try to put the whole Android OS inside ChromeOS, when they could just slap a taskbar and a multi-window system on a desktop version of Android, and then have access to all Android apps by default, instead of working hard to bring a handful of them to ChromeOS. If Android on the desktop would be so good as to kill ChromeOS, then why shouldn't he let that happen? Let the best OS win.
Oh and before anyone says "but Android sucks on a 13" screen" - I'm obviously not referring to the way Android looks right now, but at how it could look like if they made the slightest effort to optimize it for desktop (not even as much effort as they made for Android TV). Android looks bad on the desktop right now, because they've never tried to optimize it for it. Now that they're pushing "material design" for both mobile apps and desktop web-apps, the transition should happen much more easily.
There's nothing different about how apps looks or work on ChromeOS from how they would look on an Android version with a taskbar and a multi-window system similar to ChromeOS. The only difference is that besides running all the web-apps, desktop Android would also run all Android apps, too.
I'll show some examples. Here's Google Maps which they themselves are trying to show as looking very similar on both Android devices and Chrome OS - why can't the Google Maps "web app", just be the Android app in that case?
Here's another example of Drive web-app on Chrome OS and Drive app on Android:
And here we see in a very similar way, but instead of Evernote being a web-app, they showed the Evernote Android app on ChromeOS - but the question is, why can't that just be Android in the background, too, and with the Evernote app being inside a "window".
Fun fact: Microsoft seems to be planning to do exactly that, and turn "Metro apps" into "windows" in the next major version of Windows.
So again, put Android on the desktop, give it a taskbar, like they gave one to ChromeOS (remember when ChromeOS didn't have a taskbar either, and everyone thought it was much improved by it as a "desktop OS" when it received it?), and just put both tablet Android apps and phone Android apps (why not?) in "windows" inside this slightly modified version of Android, and start putting this version on 12"+ laptops.
How is this not a win? Google then can decide whether they want to keep ChromeOS or not, as a "simple OS" (which by the way, goes out of the window when they start pushing Android complexity into it, anyway).