Chinese company Huawei has announced its own operating system HarmonyOS. CEO Richard Yu under Huawei Developer Conference 2019 partly confirmed long-standing rumors that the new rival software Google and Apple, which dominates in the mobile market. But the main “sight” HarmonyOS — not smartphones as previously estimated, and the devices of the Internet of things: smart bracelets and watches, smart speakers, multimedia station and TV, on-Board computers in cars, etc. However, for smartphones new OS will fit — it is not possible to negotiate with the US authorities.

Harmony smartphone with a refrigerator and a car

Shortly before the conference Huawei is a top company managers puzzled the public. Some have argued that the upcoming OS is designed for smartphones and will not compete with Google Android, others that if States do not take their outrageous sanctions back, the Chinese IT-giant will show all Uymenova mother. However, as usual, was in the middle. HarmonyOS, which the company developed for eight years (the last six months — particularly intense), focused primarily on IOT devices.

Based operating system is a microkernel Linux the minimum set of software algorithms that provides the basic functionality of any electronic device. It is the processes that occur in any more or less advanced electronics: the flow of memory, the resource management processor access to input devices-output. For everything else (user interface, applications, services, etc.) uses plug-ins written in the same programming logic, and the microkernel. Modules can be as simple as possible — for example, smart sockets or bulbs, or scaled to any device up to laptops and servers.

This approach, according to the head of Huawei, HarmonyOS provides several advantages. First of all, the common software base for different types of devices: wearable electronics, smart appliances, on-Board computers, industrial robots, etc. an Application written for quasi — laptop for HarmonyOS can successfully work on a smartphone and in the car and on the smart refrigerator with the same system. This “seamless” is not even between the Apple iPhone and iPad although they work on the OS of the same family and in this sense as close as possible to each other. Written for smartphone application should adapt to tablet and Vice versa, and even change the display resolution in the new generation of devices becomes a headache for developers.

The minimum amount of code in the microkernel and competent writing modules for different devices provides high speed HarmonyOS and its applications. By the conviction of the company is 25.7% faster than similar software from other manufacturers. Modular design provides high level of security — malicious code “clipped” on the periphery of the system where it can’t affect the core of the system, and hence on its performance.

Sounds promising, but to the word a company not yet. The developers have not provided the source code HarmonyOS, although the project is positioned as Open Source. This means that any developer and manufacturer of electronics will be able to create a software module specially for their devices and integrate them into the ecosystem Huawei. The next day after the presentation, 10 August, the company showed the first device to HarmonyOS — smart TV Honor Vision. Its interface and functionality (part of the OS with which the user interacts) is similar to what is in a TV from other manufacturers, but about the microkernel and modules did not say anything specific. In addition, in the future the TV can be, for example, a hub for smart home devices.

In other words, while HarmonyOS — rather the bill of intentions, rather than the actual product. And not coincidentally, her announcement took place shortly before 19 August — the date when expires the delay on the US sanctions to the company.

We are not competitors, but…

Representatives of Huawei in an interview and the presentation to emphasize that HarmonyOS — not a competitor to Android. The company does not want to lose us an ally in Google. But if the U.S. government will be forced — nothing prevents to write for OS appropriate modules and run it on smartphones: it’s Richard Yu told journalists in a separate conversation. He promised that the porting HarmonyOS on mobile phones will take just a few days — funny time by the standards of the industry.

However, such a statement may be the Foundation. According to Chinese media reports, is already testing the new OS on their devices VVK Electronics — the parent holding the smartphone brands, OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo. It is likely that other Chinese vendors, at least in the person of Xiaomi refuses to release a line of smart phones and different smart devices on HarmonyOS. The national system for such a closed and at the same time technologically advanced and developing countries will be very helpful. The more a system designed for any type of smart electronics.

From the point of view of positioning HarmonyOS do not rival Google Android or Apple iOS. Analogues of the OS on a microkernel that today’s mass market is not trivial. IT-giants regularly try to merge different categories into one ecosystem: Android Wear and Car, Google’s Chrome OS, cloud services, Apple, different versions of Windows for PCs, tablets, smartphones and the Internet of things. But all of these solutions either do not have a decent implementation (nearly all Windows, except “desktop” Windows 10 closed), or interact at the level of services and applications but not the kernel. The efficiency of such systems leaves much to be desired.

So Google is working on a potential competitor HarmonyOS project Fuchsia. This OS is also based on a microkernel, its source code made public in August 2016. But so far the company has not announced any finished product within the project. According to rumors, Apple next year may present SiriOS — a system for IOT devices, which will lie brand voice assistant Siri. Microsoft last year released OS for the Internet of things Azure Sphere, based on the kernel Linux, but like Windows IoT in 2015, yet has not found much popularity.

The dream of a great OS
If Huawei will carry out the data at the presentation promises, the markets of Internet of things and smartphones waiting for if not a revolution, it is a serious shock. HarmonyOS will become the first ecosystem that truly unites fundamentally different electronic devices into a single network with a common program logic. Manufacturers will be sufficient to install the desired package of software under an open source license, if necessary, to modify it and the appliance will automatically turn into smart. Manufacturers of portable electronics (Apple, Samsung, LG, etc.) will only integrate with the ecosystem native to China either to look for alternatives, which is not.

However, like most HarmonyOS. In fact, the company only showed beautiful slides and slapped loud promises. I don’t think they will be a pacifier — Huawei cannot afford such a rash step. But it may well be that so beautiful and harmonious a new OS, as it is trying to show. No wonder even such giants as Google and Microsoft, which dog ate the different kinds of software, still did not provide a similar solution on the microkernel. And Huawei — are actually new to the OS — that’s submitted. It may be that just imagine some ideal picture that is not at all disconnected from reality.

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