Could ship on phones within five years
It has been nearly two years since the first evidence of Google’s ‘Fuchsia‘ operating system surfaced. It uses the ‘Zircon’ real-time kernel in place of Linux, and is being designed to run on everything from embedded devices to laptops. There has been speculation for years that Fuchsia is a possible Android replacement, and a new report from Bloomberg seems to confirm that.
According to people familiar with the project, Fuchsia is being designed to replace every operating system currently shipping on Google’s consumer hardware. That includes Android, Chrome OS, and the embedded variants of Android that power the Google Home and Chromecasts.
The project’s engineers want Fuchsia to ship on connected home devices within three years.
The project’s engineers want Fuchsia to ship on connected home devices (like the Google Home) within three years, then on laptops after that. The final goal will be replacing Android with Fuchsia, which could happen within five years. Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) and Hiroshi Lockheimer (SVP of Android and Chrome OS) have yet to approve a road map for replacing Android.
Fuchsia is now being worked on by over 100 engineers, including veteran designer Matias Duarte, who is helping the project on a part-time basis. Fuchsia has already caused internal disputes at least once, when Google’s advertising department clashed with engineers over some of Fuchsia’s increased privacy features. The ad team won that particular dispute, according to one person.
Bloomberg didn’t go into detail about how Fuchsia would handle backwards-compatibility. The operating system would likely be dead on arrival without support for Android applications, but Google could very well integrate the same Android container into Fuchsia that is currently being used on Chrome OS.
It’s interesting to see Fuchsia continue to make progress, even if its future is still uncertain. You can read the full report here.
Google told in a statement that there is no concrete plan right now for replacing Android within the next five years.