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Google's Chrome, Android systems to stay separate

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt attends a function on catalysing tech Start-ups in India by NASSCOM, in New Delhi March 20, 2013. REU
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt attends a function on catalysing tech Start-ups in India by NASSCOM, in New Delhi March 20, 2013. REU

By Devidutta Tripathy

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Google Inc's Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products but could have more overlap, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said, a week after the two came under a single boss.

Google last week said Andy Rubin, the architect of Android - the world's top-selling mobile operating system - was moving to a still-undefined role while Sundar Pichai, in charge of its Chrome web browser and applications like Google Drive and Gmail, was taking on Rubin's responsibilities.

Schmidt, Google's chief executive from 2001 to 2011, is becoming more outspoken on issues involving technology and world affairs, and was in India as part of a multi-country Asian tour to promote Internet access.

After the Indian capital, he is visiting Myanmar, which is seen as the last virgin territory for businesses in Asia.

In January he went to North Korea, saying it was a personal trip to talk about a free and open Internet.

Only about a tenth of India's more than 1.2 billion people have access to the Internet, although that is changing fast with growth in low-cost tablet computers and cheaper smartphones.

Schmidt called on India to clarify a law that holds so-called intermediaries like Google and Facebook liable for content users post on the web.

In 2011, India passed a law that obliges social media companies to remove a range of objectionable content when requested to do so, a move criticized at the time by human rights groups and companies.

Schmidt also said rumors he may be leaving Google were "completely false." He was responding to a question on whether his plan to sell about 42 percent of his Google stake was a signal that he was leaving the world's No.1 search engine.

"Google is my home," he said, adding that he had no plans to take on a job in government.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Writing by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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