Facebook is secretly working on its own OS; will it replace Android?

The social networking giant, Facebook is reportedly developing its own operating system (OS) from scratch. The OS will power Facebook’s smart hardware products including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets.

By creating its own OS, Facebook will integrate more indigenous features that are currently missing from Facebook’s smart devices. Facebook has a range of products including Oculus VR headsets and video calling devices like Portal video calling devices. These devices currently powered by Google’s Android OS. The company has not indicated any plan to create an OS for smartphones.

The OS project is led by Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft engineer who built Windows NT operating system. While there is no official confirmation on which products Facebook will be using this OS for, Portal video-calling devices will get the OS before Oculus VR headsets.

Andrew Bosworth, VP of Hardware at Facebook said, “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.”

The OS is not meant to compete with any smartphone OS out there. It will rather enable the smart hardware devices, making them feature-rich. As far as the smartphone OS market is concerned, Android holds 87% of global market share. It is difficult for any new tech company to penetrate Android’s dominance in this market.

This is not the first time Facebook has tried creating its own OS. The company had created Facebook Home powered by Android in 2013. The attempt did not go well for the company back then. Let’s hope that this new OS meant for IoT devices will enable smart gadget users with a rich user experience.