Facebook is working on an OS to ditch Google's Android
Facebook, the biggest social network on the planet, is looking to take on Google with its own operating system. Yes, as astonishing as it may sound, the company is actually developing a mysterious new OS for its future hardware products. The unnamed platform could show up in a few years, ultimately reducing Facebook's dependency on Google's Android. Here's all about it.
Microsoft veteran leading the OS effort at Facebook
Though there are no details available about the OS, including things like how it would work or when it would be released, The Information has learned that the development of the platform is being led by Microsoft veteran Mark Lucovsky. Lucovsky helped Microsoft create Windows NT OS and is currently working as the General Manager of Operating Systems at Facebook.
Facebook hardware products use Android at present
Currently, Facebook's key hardware products, the Portal smart display and Oculus VR headset, use a modified version of Android. This tie-up means that Google not only gets a cut out of Facebook's hardware business but also mines data through its devices. Now, The Information reports, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company is hoping to reduce, or perhaps even end, this dependency by developing its own OS.
Is Facebook eyeing Apple's 'walled garden' approach?
Facebook's plan to develop its own operating system seems to fall in line with the 'walled garden' approach of Apple. Essentially, like Apple, the social network could be working on an ecosystem where it would control everything that goes into a hardware product - from design to processor to the operating system used in it.
Rumored product plan indicates self-sufficiency approach
Facebook has not commented on the matter but its rumored product plan for the future signals the plan of achieving self-sufficiency. The company was recently reported to be working on a Portal-branded streaming device and a pair of mind-controlled AR glasses. But, in addition to that (and the OS), there have also been reports indicating the development of Facebook's own chip and voice assistant.
Facebook's hardware head says they can't 'trust' competitors
"We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us," Facebook's head of hardware, Andrew Bosworth, told The Information. "We don't think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that's the case. And so we're gonna do it ourselves."