Google has been developing a new OS designed to run on “modern phones and modern personal computers”. It recently unveiled some of the UI, still a work in progress, that operates like a traditional desktop OS with Windows, mixed with a mobile OS, using Google’s material design. Which seems very much like a hybrid OS in the vein of Windows 10.
Fuschia is also a real-time multi-tasking environment, unlike Android, and like Windows 10. Fuschia is built using a custom kernel called “Magenta”, rather than the Linux base of Android and ChromeOS. Entire sections of the UI are devoted to google search and suggestions, putting an emphasis on Google’s advertising based profit model. It also features a new universal app platform, that might be able to run cross platform.
We don’t yet have any official announcement on whether this will replace Android and ChromeOS, but we do know that this is a product intended for release. Looking at the design, and considering that Google has long wanted to move into the desktop space, it seems most likely that this is indeed intended to be a Windows 10 competitor, and that if successful it might replace ChromeOS and Android entirely.
Users have long speculated when the other two tech giants, Apple and Google might develop hybrid OSes. Apple has indicated that as an eventual and distant plan, but they are classically very tight lipped on any new projects. Google here, seems to be taking the same approach. Apple obviously has clear advantage in a new hybrid OS having success in both the desktop and mobile arena’s, although how those two systems can be dovetailed is probably a very complicated business – OSX runs on x86/x64 and iOS on ARM. They are wildly different systems iOS and OSX. Microsoft has the time based lead on both having it’s UWP platform for numerous scaling/adaptive apps, and being first to market, but Google will no doubt bring to bear its Android app platform via some kind of Android runtime.
Like Win32 programs these face a scaling problem – they are suited to touch and a small screen, not mouse and keyboard. Whether it’s big screen apps being too busy for the small screen, or small screen apps being too simple for the big screen – scaling is the problem hybridization is intended to solve, and in some ways for any company it’s essentially starting from scratch. Apps are only starting to be developed that way for Windows 10.
With growth in smartphones (outside of budget sectors) winding down everyone is looking for the next big thing. Whilst Amazon fights for the voice space, MS releasing its Cortana skill SDK advancements soon, its work on Hololens, Facebooks secret investments in VR, AND rumors of Apple’s secret AR project – Like the race in IoT, virtual reality, augmented reality, and personal assistants, with the Hybrid OS; the fight is very much on for the future.