Google has had one wildly successful operating environment and two that are, as of yet, duds. The successful beacon of the Android 2.x development line demonstrates how open source can be successful, especially when hardware manufacturers are on board. Meanwhile, the less successful attempts – specifically, the recently deployed but nearly disregarded Android 3.x line for tablets (starting with Honeycomb) and Google TV – may be eliminated in their current format.
Android 3.x and Google TV aren’t likely to vanish entirely, however. Rather, it’s likely that upcoming versions of the Android 2.x development line will include these services. Representatives from Google have stated that the lessons learned in Honeycomb will be brought to Android 2.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher, which may mean that the 2.x line will serve tablets in the near future. Alternatively, tablets may be covered by Chrome OS, which recently started work on being available for the tablet environment.
Google TV, meanwhile, might just become a less-visible element within Android itself. This would mean, first, that the various extras – show subscriptions, Google partnerships, etc. – would be available to at least a broader cut of Android users. Second, it would mean that those who purchased Google TV systems would receive a more flexible operating system that allowed access to a number of other application types (turning their TV, in a sense, into a giant tablet).
This news is not official – despite being widely rumored – and Google has made no official remark on the topic. However, it is anticipated that further details will be provided at Google I/O, on May 10th and 11th of this year; Google TV, Android 2.4, and Chrome OS (in other words, all the focal product lines in this merge) are expected to be top subjects in the Google I/O convention.