Over the past several years, we have seen numerous references to a mysterious next-gen Fuchsia OS being developed by Google. We say "mysterious" because Google has not come right out and said what exactly it is, or why it's developing another OS when it already has Android and Chrome OS. Will Fuchsia OS replace one or the other, or perhaps both? Google finally answered that question, and the answer is no..
All we have really known up to this point is that Fuchsia OS is an open source project—you can even play around with an experimental version in your browser, over at GitHub, where it first landed back in 2016. It's only a rough demo, though, and does not really offer anything of substance, either about the OS or Google's goal.
At Google I/O 2019, however, Android and Chrome boss Hiroshi Lockheimer offered up some interesting tidbits.
"We’re looking at what a new take on an operating system could be like. And so I know out there people are getting pretty excited saying, ‘Oh this is the new Android’, or, ‘This is the new Chrome OS’. "Fuchsia is really not about that. Fuchsia is about just pushing the state of the art in terms of operating systems and things that we learn from Fuchsia we can incorporate into other products," Lockheimer said.
In other words, Google is not developing Fuchsia OS as a replacement to either Android or Chrome OS, or at least that is not the goal right now. So what's the purpose, then? Lockheimer further explained that Fuchsia OS allows Google to experiment with different form factors. So, we could potentially see it on things like VR headsets or smart home devices, or anything else.
Later on during the event, Lockheimer provided some more context, pointing to the Internet of Things category, according to 9To5Google.
"It's not just phones and PCs. In the world of IoT, there are increasing number of devices that require operating systems and new runtimes and so on. I think there's a lot of room for multiple operating systems with different strengths and specializations. Fuchsia is one of those things and so, stay tuned," he said.
There are still many things we do not know about Fuchsia OS, though for now, we can put to rest the notion that it will supplant Android or Chrome OS. Unless something changes, that is not the plan or the direction Google intends on going.