Over the years, Facebook has expanded from a social media site to a tech behemoth that has a stake in a plethora of technologies. It doesn't have an elaborate ecosystem like Google and Apple yet, and Facebook is looking to change that. The company is reportedly working on an in-house operating system that'll eventually make its way to Facebook-owned hardware such as Oculus VR headsets, Portal Smart Speakers and more. Facebook’s VP of Hardware, Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth said in a quote to Techcrunch:
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.
Currently, Facebook has to rely on market solutions such as Android, iOS and Windows. An in-house OS would help Facebook make an entry into the smartphone market. Its previous attempt at manufacturing a smartphone in partnership with HTC, was a disaster, at best. Facebook's second attempt at trying to remain independent of Google —Project Oxygen— didn't take off either.
Facebook to dedicate an entire office in California for the yet-to-be-named operating system
Facebook is reportedly planning on dedicating a 770,000-square-foot that will house up to 4,000 employees. It will also serve as a sort of experience center, where customers can try out products before committing to a purchase. It'll be Facebook's attempt at recreating an Apple store experience.
The company spokesperson didn't reveal much in the way of any OS-specific details. If it is to power IoT devices, chances are that it'll be ARM-based. It will be an uphill task for Facebook to get users and developers acquainted with the new platform. It'll be a small price to pay for the creative freedom an in-house OS grants.
Facebook hasn't had a stellar reputation when it comes to handling user data. The company is already notorious for siphoning off copious amounts of data off of its users, and we don't see how things'll get better once they have complete control over its devices.
Do we really need a platform to break the Android-iOS duopoly? Yes. Does it have to be Facebook to take the initiative? Probably not. But the thing is, not a lot of companies have the resources to develop an operating system from scratch. Even Huawei, with all its resources, took a long time to develop its in-house HarmonyOS —an operating system that might not even run on smartphones.