New Google Operating System Possibly On Horizon

It looks like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is creating a completely new operating system. The tech blog Android Police was one of the first to report on the existence of the OS. The project’s name is Fuchsia, but no one knows quite what it’s for. There has been no official announcement from Google and the company has yet to comment on its intended function.

It appears that the open-source project is in its early days. The new operating system looks like a fresh start for Google, as it does not use the Linux kernel like the Android and Chrome operating systems. Instead, the OS is built on Magenta, a “medium-sized microkernel” based on a project called LittleKernel. The new OS is said to be scheduled for a 2017 release.

Google says the Magenta software “targets modern phones and modern personal computers” that use “fast processors” and “non-trivial amounts of RAM.” It’s documentation notes that Magenta supports a number of advanced features, including user modes and a “capability-based security model.”

The core code is designed to be lightweight. It’s currently being tested on all sorts of systems, including small-form factor Intel PCs and an Acer Switch Alpha 12 laptop. It will also have support for the Raspberry Pi 3 soon, according to reports. The new OS reportedly includes support for graphics rendering as well as for ARM and 64-bit Intel-based PCs.

Using Magenta for its core code might make it better suited to running on embedded systems. Christopher Anderson and Brian Swetland, the developers listed on Fuchsia’s GitHub page, are experts in embedded systems. Anderson previously worked on the company’s Android TV and Nexus Q projects. Swetland is a senior software engineer at Google.

Some think it could bridge Chrome OS and Android into a single operating system. Android, the California-based technology company’s mobile operating system, is used in billions of smartphones around the world. A restart would let it course correct on some of the issues that have plagued Android.

Others believe it may be used to power Google’s hardware or third-party internet of things devices. However, Google already has its own IoT platform called Brillo. Some users of Hacker News suggested that Fuchsia could be used for augmented reality interfaces.