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Google Offers Peek at New Fuchsia Operating System

The world was treated to its first glimpse of Google’s latest operating system today. The OS, which the company is calling ?EU?Fuchsia?EU? at the moment, is a non-Linux-based system that seems to be designed with mobile devices in mind. Nevertheless, the OS could eventually replace both the company?EU?s Android mobile OS and its Chrome OS.

While clues about Fuchsia first began to appear in August, there was little to see at the time other than the command line. From the video and screenshots posted online, it looks as if Fuchsia’s GUI (graphical user interface) will differ considerably from Android and Chrome, even if it continues to change in the future.

A Major Change from Android

Fuchsia is a big deal for a couple reasons. First, building a third OS from scratch represents a major investment in time and resources for a company that already has two operating systems on the market. Although the company has said anything about why it’s developing Fuchsia, the seriousness with which it has approached the project could indicate that Google eventually plans to replace Android and Chrome with Fuchsia.

And unlike those two systems (as well as the majority of operating systems currently on the market), Fuchsia is not built on a Linux kernel. Instead, it is based on a microkernel called ?EU?Magenta?EU? developed by Google, seemingly another indicator of the time and effort Google has invested in the project. Abandoning Linux would be a major step for the company. Linux forms the core of most modern operating systems, including the Mac OS.

Dropping Linux also means dropping the GNU General Public License under which it is distributed. Magenta is licensed through a combination of the Berkeley Software Distribution license (BSD), MIT, and Apache 2.0. The BSD license in particular may give Google more flexibility with…


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