Since last May the restrictions on the part of the United States towards Huawei were announced and later with the announcement of Google to block the use of Android, in compliance with these restrictions, the rumors of an alternative system of Huawei began to be heard . Subsequently, a grace period was announced for this blockade. In HDC, Harmony OS became official.
Huawei describes Harmony as "An open operating system based on a microkernel for all scenarios." What does this really mean? A microkernel system is one whose functions at the kernel level are only the minimum to implement an operating system. This includes memory, process programming mechanisms and basic communication between them. All other functions of the operating system are at the user level and not the kernel.
In theory, such a system is very stable and secure and since they are modular, their maintenance and updating is simple. Huawei's strategy was to create a secure operating system that is decoupled from the hardware and can work on all types of devices. Harmony OS has a single core, and uses the same services at the system level regardless of hardware. In this sense, Harmony represents a step forward of monolithic and hybrid systems such as Linux and Android, respectively.RELATED
Despite all these apparent benefits, Huawei is not in a hurry to leave Google, they have mentioned that moving to their system would be relatively easy, but they clarify that, for the moment, there are no plans to use it in any new cell phone model. Contrary to what one would expect, the first device that Harmony will run is not a cell phone, but its Huawei Vision TV model, a line of smart TVs. However, Harmony could have a competitive advantage, given its architecture, on the Internet of things, where the market is widely fragmented. There is no ubiquitous operating system for IoT devices and Huawei has the great opportunity to consolidate as a leader.
Huawei's decision to expand Harmony's applications beyond smartphones is good, but in the area of consumer technology, the cell phone is the key device. Being Harmony the Android plan B, one would expect more confidence from Huawei in its own system. But, the reality is also that all Android Apps will not be directly compatible with it, which means convincing thousands of developers to adapt their applications. Even so, the crucial component of an own Apps store was not even announced.
In China, the picture is more encouraging, at least Huawei has the support of other technology companies in their war with the United States and unofficially it is known that Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Tencent have already started testing with Harmony OS.
Finally, the consumer will not adopt another operating system for political or commercial reasons, Android is an ecosystem that Google, with its services, generates a very difficult value to replicate. Technical jargon and the promises of better performance and safety do not permeate the common consumer and are certainly not enough. It seems that Huawei is already prepared for an eventual abandonment of Android, but betting that it never occurs, and more importantly trying not to create another platform war by force.