Facebook is reportedly planning to build its very own operating system as a replacement to Android in an attempt to reduce reliance on Google’s software, especially as the company is pushing harder for its very own hardware in VR and smart device markets.
The social network first tried to invest in an in-house operating system back in 2013 when it developed a custom version of Android for an HTC phone that many referred to as the Facebook phone. The project pretty much failed because it never gained traction, so this time Facebook is aiming for a difference approach.
The company doesn’t want to compete against Google in one of its top markets, namely smartphones, but build a platform to power its VR and smart devices without the need for Google services.
Officially, this plan has never been confirmed, but in a statement for The Information, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, drops hints that a future without Google is what the company is aiming for.
“[We] want 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,” he explained.
Facebook’s AR glasses are projected to see daylight in 2023, so presumably, the company wants this operating system to be ready in two or three years.
A report from The Verge indicates that in charge of building the software powering Facebook’s AR and VR push is none other than Mark Lucovsky, the man in charge of making Windows NT operating system happen for Microsoft.
Facebook’s hardware and software ambitions don’t stop here, however. By the looks of things, the company also wants to build a custom chip hardware, and a voice assistant is already on its way. Clearly, Facebook wants to be more than just a social network company, albeit the social network itself will continue to serve as the foundation on everything it plans to do in the long term.