Google's replacement of Android boss Andy Rubin appears to point to a major shake-up in the way the company is to push forward with its various operating systems.
The firm announced the change in a blog post on Wednesday, with Sundar Pichai, the current head of Chrome and Apps divisions, adding Android to his management responsibilities.
The transition suggests a change of strategy at Google. By merging the Chrome and Android leadership, the company could be looking to combine its two platforms into a single offering for mobile devices and netbooks.
If such a transition is taking place, Rubin appears to be the odd man out.
Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group told V3 that Google's move raises memories of Microsoft's fateful decision to fold the Windows NT and 9x platforms together with Windows XP.
"I think [Rubin] is on the wrong side of this particular wave," Enderle explained.
"They were going to drive the Chrome and Android groups together and one was goin to get the axe, clearly he drew the short straw."
Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said he thought it was interesting that Google had decided to replace Rubin, although if it was planning a merge Pichai was probably the right man for the job.
"There doesn't seem to be an obvious need to replace Andy Rubin - he hasn't done anything visibly wrong and Android continues to grow from strength to strength. If Google was planning on merging Android and Chrome OS, Sundar Pichai would be the right person to lead that," he told V3.
Dillon added that it would make sense if Google was to merge its platforms as it was still struggling to make much head way in the app world, unlike Apple.
"Although it has not make any public statements about such a move, what we do know is that Google is a native of the web and would no doubt prefer a web-centric world rather than an app-one," he explained.
"Google has struggled to make money from apps, but was obliged to embrace them as they are a necessity for competing in the smartphone market."
Dillon also noted it would interesting to see what Rubin ends up doing next, especially as Google was vague on his future at the company.
Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi concurred with the other analysts, explaing the change came as part of "the next phase for Android".
"Rubin was in charge of the platform and he did his job in creating a successful platform with a large is installed base. Now it is time to focus on ecosystem and monetisation," she told V3.
"Pichai will certainly look at creating a stronger synergy between Android and Chrome so that users do not have to pick between web or native apps."
Under Rubin's watch, Android has emerged as the top mobile platform on the market. In addition to taking the lion's share of the mobile space, Android has been projected by analysts to become the dominant tablet OS by the end of the year.
The dominance has also come with a price for vendors. Both handset and tablet makers have faced lawsuits over allegations of intellectual property violations.
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