Several news outlets are reporting (from an original report in the Wall Street Journal) that Google is currently implementing plans to combine two operating systems it now administers, Chrome OS (which runs on Chromebooks) and Android (which runs on millions and millions of smart phones), into one, with a release planned for 2017 and early versions demonstrated over the course of 2016.
Reports have been a bit conflicted, however. While there were some reports that Google might just go ahead and kill the Chrome OS to concentrate on Android, the prevailing thought, according to Endgadget, is that Google will bring the operating systems closer together while still maintaining a strategy that has separate OS's. Google has long maintained that Chrome OS and Android are both separate and important strategic systems.
Or as Senior VP of Chrome OS, Chromecast and Android Hiroshi Lockheimer puts it in a tweet.
There's a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are very committed to Chrome OS. I just bought two for my kids for schoolwork!- Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) October 30, 2015
Also according to Endgadget, is the idea that the new Android operating system will also run on PCs. Whether that means just Chromebook PCs or other kinds (Windows, iOS, etc.) as well is unknown. The fact that Google wants its Google Play store on as many PCs as possible gives some idea that it might not just be Chromebooks Google is aiming at.
Mashable states that whatever changes Google is working on have been in development for two years, and the Verge, from a comment from a Google spokesperson, stated that both operating systems will continue to exist. Whether that means "for now" or "forever" remains to be seen, but it is within Google's best interests to bring Chrome OS and Android closer together, whether they become fully merged or not.