Facebook is building its own operating system

Social media empire Facebook is reportedly working on an operating system. The new software could replace the Android-based software currently in some Facebook hardware.

At the helm of this new software development is Mark Lucovsky, a co-author of Microsoft’s Windows NT. According to The Information, he is to oversee the design of Facebook’s OS from scratch.

According to a report by “The Information”, Facebook is developing software for its hardware that could lower its reliance on Google’s Android system. “We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us,” Facebook’s VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth said to The Information. “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.”

Of late, Facebook is trying to be more self-reliant. The company is undertaking the development of custom chips, as well as acquiring tech to read intentions.

The Facebook Portal. (Photo: Facebook)

The new Facebook made OS could replace the customised versions of Android running on Oculus and Facebook Portals. Using Facebook-designed software should remove any stress stemming from being cut off from Google’s systems in the case of a falling out between the two companies.

Also, in-house developed software fosters tighter integration with hardware.  Additionally, in-house software could help Facebook implement new, innovative software that may not be possible or allowed on another platform. A Facebook designed OS isn’t the only software endeavour. Earlier this year, Facebook revealed plans to create a voice assistant.

Facebook is designing an AI-powered voice assistant is for its Oculus, Portal and future devices. Facebook began work on the voice assistant in 2018, according to CNBC. The voice assistant will most likely be the primary assistant on Facebook devices, relegating Alexa and Google Assistant to secondary options.

The Oculus Quest VR headset. (Photo: Oculus)

The new Facebook OS and the voice assistant software developments may deploy together, so Facebook hardware runs first-party software.

Apple is a pioneer in developing in-house software that powers its hardware. Apple maintains control over its device ecosystem with devices designed to work best with other Apple devices running similar software. Facebook is likely adopting the same approach to maintain its grip on the market. Even though augmented and mixed reality technologies are niche products today, the market may blossom into the mainstream, and Facebook wants to be at the forefront.

All the above efforts stand to bolster Facebook’s tech empire by reducing its reliance on others as well as providing technology for future endeavours.