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posted by janrinok on Friday December 20 2019, @08:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the choice-is-good,-right? dept.

Facebook is developing its own OS to reduce dependence on Android:

Despite the recent privacy scandals, mishandling of user data, and a potential federal injunction looming in the distance, Facebook seems to be going full steam ahead with its ambitions. According to a recent report by The Information, the company is now developing its own operating system to reduce dependency on Google’s Android. The development, as per The Verge, is being led by Mark Lucovsky — an ex-Microsoft official who co-authored the Windows NT operating system.

While the report provides a limited amount of information about how Facebook plans to use the new operating system, it does point out that currently Facebook’s Oculus and Portal devices run on a modified version of Android. This leads us to believe that with its new operating system the company plans to replace Android on its VR and smart devices. And one of Facebook’s AR and VR heads, Ficus Kirkpatrick, mirrors this sentiment. According to Kirkpatrick, “it’s possible” that Facebook’s future hardware won’t need to rely on Google’s software which could possibly remove Google’s control over the company’s hardware.

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, also told The Information that the company “want(s) to make sure the next generation has space for us. We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re going to do it ourselves.” Along with the aforementioned Oculus and Portal devices, Facebook is also working on AR glasses. Bosworth reveals that these glasses, codenamed “Orion”, could arrive as early as 2023. Interestingly, Apple is also expected to come out with its own pair of AR glasses around the same time. Facebook is reportedly also working on a brain control interface for its glasses, which could allow users to control them with their thoughts.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by looorg on Friday December 20 2019, @09:33PM (6 children)

    by looorg (578) on Friday December 20 2019, @09:33PM (#934816)

    FaceOS is probably bad, it will probably contain more spy-crap and telemetry then windows. That said it could still be interesting if this manages to relaunch an actual OS-war -- Facebook vs Google vs Microsoft and possibly a few minor contenders as well.

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by barbara hudson on Friday December 20 2019, @10:05PM (1 child)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Friday December 20 2019, @10:05PM (#934820) Journal
    The OS wars are over. Mega corps won, users lost. Do you really trust FaceHuggerOS?
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20 2019, @11:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20 2019, @11:16PM (#934841)

      As long as it's systemd-free, sign me up.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Grishnakh on Saturday December 21 2019, @02:15AM (3 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday December 21 2019, @02:15AM (#934887)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but Microsoft is not a competitor here; Apple is. This new OS is supposed to be for mobile devices. But I can't imagine why anyone would want a Facebook OS on their phone, unless they do what Blackberry did and make it highly Android-compatible (and that didn't exactly work out well for Blackberry either). Microsoft showed exactly why attempting to enter the mobile market with another OS and no apps is a guaranteed failure.

    • (Score: 2) by Acabatag on Saturday December 21 2019, @02:46AM (2 children)

      by Acabatag (2885) on Saturday December 21 2019, @02:46AM (#934907)

      Microsoft tried to morph Windows for the mobile market. They refused to instead fork. I used Windows 8 mobile on a phone for a while. It was snappy and very usable, but there was zero support whatsoever for any of Googles mobile services, and a very thin-gruel app store. If they had pushed it differently it might today be a viable choice. But not as a unified platform the way MS tried.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday December 21 2019, @06:04AM (1 child)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday December 21 2019, @06:04AM (#934929)

        I think there were three things working against them: 1) the Microsoft brand name. Windows just isn't a brand that carries any value to regular consumers, especially if they have to use it at work. Blame the IT department all you want, but corporate workers everywhere know Windows as the OS that's dog-slow and just gives them agony all day. Outlook is even worse, and MS can't easily blame that turd on IT departments.

        2) Lack of apps. While Apple had its curated app store with tons of apps, and Google had its not-so-curated app store with 10 times as many apps, MS's app store barely had anything. So for people who just wanted a reliable smartphone, supposedly Windows Phone actually worked pretty well.

        3) Lack of support. They did this with "PlaysForSure": after Zune came out, everyone who bought stuff on PFS didn't have access to it any more. Then with Windows Phone, they kept releasing new and incompatible versions. So of course app developers didn't bother with the platform because it was a moving target with no users, and users didn't want to bother with it because it would quickly be superseded by something else new and incompatible.

        Honestly, MS couldn't have managed the whole thing worse if they really tried.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21 2019, @12:47PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21 2019, @12:47PM (#934960)

          I think you missed the most important thing working against them: previous adopters of Microsoft mobile operating systems got burned. PocketPC, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 6, Windows Phone 7. Each one came out, and then was dropped and the people that bought them were screwed. Windows Phone 6 apps were not, if I recall correctly, compatible with Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 8 had a compatibility layer to run Windows Phone 7 apps for a while, but later devices dropped it and from what I understand nothing from Windows Phone 7 ran on Windows Phone 10.

          It's sad and hilarious because fanatic focus on backward compatibility is one of the only ethical ingredients to Microsoft's recipe for desktop operating system dominance, but somehow they forgot about it in the mobile world. All the Microsoft fanatics I know had some earlier Microsoft mobile operating system that got sold and then dropped, so when Windows Phone 10 came out they didn't care.