My buddy Steven Vaughan-Nichols had a very interesting column up recently about the development of multi-user support on Android as a possible precursor to a desktop version.
I strongly suspect we’ll see multi-user support introduced in Android 5. Experts expect the new Android to arrive in 2012′s 4th quarter. I expect Android 5 to show up on new Android handsets and tablets. I also expect Google to backport it to its wildly popular Nexus 7 tablet.
That will be great for users who share tablets, but what I really wonder if Google will decide to finally offer an Android desktop offering of its own. In particular, I wonder if Google will at long last combine its Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome browser running on a thin-layer of Linux, with Android for a new desktop operating system.
Think about it. Chrome now runs on Android. I like Chromebooks, but for every Chrome OS user there’s already hundreds of Android users. At the same time, Microsoft is fumbling its Windows 8 introduction, if ever there was a time for Google to introduce an Android desktop, this is the time.