Right now, Facebook is at the mercy of Apple and Google to reach its billions of users. Since iOS and Android are the top mobile operating systems, Facebook is forced to develop apps for these platforms. If you are 3rd party developer, you have to live with so many restrictions laid out by the platform vendor. For example, Apple may announce a new App Store rule that could force Facebook to remove its app or make significant changes. Also, Facebook is now working on several hardware devices including the new Portal lineup and popular Oculus VR devices. Without its own OS, Facebook is now relying on Android OS for these hardware.
Today, The Information reported that Facebook is currently working on a brand new built-from-scratch operating system. Mark Lucovsky, the man behind Windows NT development, is now leading Facebook’s operating system efforts. Developing its own OS will also allow Facebook to deeply integrate its social services in the OS. Also, Facebook will have freedom to customize the OS for specific hardware like Oculus Quest.
“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,” said Facebook’s VP of hardware Andrew Bosworth.
Facebook has big hardware plans. In face, Facebook is building new campus in Burlingame, a small city about 15 miles north of Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters. This new campus can accommodate 4,000 employees and they will be exclusively working on new hardware. The Information also reported that Facebook has teams working on custom silicon chips, an AI-powered voice assistant, and technology capable of reading minds.