Facebook has a heavy reliance on other company's operating systems to allow its social network to function and its hardware to operate, but that may not be the case for much longer. Facebook is developing its own operating system from scratch.
As The Verge reports, a report compiled by The Information has revealed that Mark Zuckerberg's company is currently working on a brand new OS. The man heading up the project is Mark Lucovsky, who was the co-author of Microsoft's Windows NT.
The decision to move away from a reliance on someone else's OS is due to Facebook's move into hardware. Both the Oculus and Portal devices use a modified version on Android, and it's here where Facebook wants to make the change. Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's head of hardware, explained, "We really 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 gonna do it ourselves."
Last year, it was revealed Facebook is designing its own chips. Hardware products are also set to expand, with Oculus and Portal lines being joined by a mind reading device to control virtual reality and augmented reality glasses at some point in the future. With that in mind, you can see why the company wants to control every part of its own platforms. The same strategy worked out incredibly well for Apple, after all.
Facebook has been thinking about its own operating system for a long time. Back in 2013, it made a first attempt when the HTC First smartphone shipped. It ran Facebook Home, which was basically software sitting on top of Android to create a "Facebook phone." The fact most people probably don't remember the phone tells you how well the experiment went, but it seems Zuckerberg is ready to have another go.
By Matthew Humphries