Facebook is developing its own operating system to remove its dependency on Google’s Android OS for its future hardware products such as Oculus and Portal.
Mark Lucovsky, the ex-Microsoft engineer who helped in creating the Windows NT operating system, will lead this project and create a new Facebook OS from scratch.
This isn’t the first time when a company has tried to free itself from the dependency of Android. Huawei has already created HarmonyOS and Facebook has previously developed prototypes of a custom OS for Home, but it nevertheless went ahead with Android at that time.
Facebook OS is just a part of a bigger plan to make the company self-sufficient.
“We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us,” says Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of AR and VR. “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.”
According to The Information, it seems as if Facebook is trying to adopt Apple’s “walled garden” approach in developing its current and future hardware.
That means Facebook would like to create an ecosystem, where everything right from the design of the hardware to the processors in it, and the OS as well would be controlled by the company.
Given that Facebook has now developed a bad reputation when it comes to trustworthiness, so I am not sure how willing people might be to buy hardware with Facebook OS in it.
Nevertheless, the company appears to be very serious regarding its hardware plans. Besides Oculus and Portal, Facebook is also rumored to be working on AR glasses, codenamed Orion, that will have a brain-computer interface to control it.
There were also rumors of a Facebook voice assistant for future smart speakers and displays. The company even approached Microsoft to license data from its Bing search engine to train the assistant, a source told The Information.
There is no word on when Facebook’s new operating system would arrive or which product would use it first. So we will have to wait a little longer for further details.