Eric Schmidt doesn't have that much to do with the company these days. He's still technically Executive Chairman, but he doesn't have any link to the day-to-day business or even that much of an overview of everything Google is doing.
Still, he's an important figure in the company and he's more willing to talk than the two cofounders, so people are always quoting him on something.
The problem is, he's mostly wrong. Wrong because he's misinformed, wrong because what he says may be a personal opinion and just that, wrong because he may be more optimistic than reality proves to be.
Regardless the reason, he's more often than not wrong. With that in mind, he is now being quoted as saying
that Android and Chrome OS will not merge.
This after Chrome chief Sundar Pichai took over Android as well last week
. But the same Eric Schmidt said two years ago that Chrome and Android will merge.
It would seem like the Schmidt of today is contradicting the Schmidt of two years ago. But that's not strictly true.
What he is saying now, and what he was saying back then as well, is that Chrome and Android won't merge any time soon and that Google won't force a merger, but that in the long term, Google would want to run just one platform on all devices.
Speaking in India, Schmidt said that the two products would remain separate, but that they had some overlap and that overlap could get bigger in the future.
Android and Chrome, Chrome OS specifically, are very different at this point, both technologically, but also philosophically. Chrome OS is all about the web, it wants the operating system to disappear and let websites and apps take the center stage.
Android, on the other hand, has to offer a solid set of functionality, people don't buy phones to just consume content and apps, they expect their phones and tablets to be fully functional and featured out of the box.