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As EU tightens screws on Android, Google focuses on a Fuchsia future

Jul 19, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,268 views

[Updated: July 22] — Google plans to replace Android with Fuchsia beginning with a smart speaker in 2021, says Bloomberg. Fuchsia could help Google sidestep Android-related legal threats from Oracle and the EU, which just slapped Google with a $5.1 billion fine.

A Bloomberg report based on information from undisclosed sources within Google claims the company is planning to use its emerging Project Fuchsia OS as a replacement for Android, embedded Linux, and Chrome OS in devices ranging from smart speakers to phones, and eventually laptops. The first Fuchsia based smart speakers are expected in 2021.

Google sees Fuchsia as a way to start from scratch to address some of the inherent flaws in Android, as well as the underlying Linux kernel, says Bloomberg. These include the lack of security and update features and the difficulty in integrating its Google Assistant voice agent and other AI technologies.


Fuchsia would also help Google avoid paying Oracle licensing fees over Android’s use of Java. “Shifting away from using Linux would help Google’s legal case that its software isn’t reliant on Oracle,” says the story. Fuchsia is not based on Java, or Linux either, for that matter. However, it will offer a tightly integrated emulator for running Linux programs.

Sundar Pichai
CEO, Google

Fuchsia could also help sidestep the regulatory scrutiny currently targeting Android. On July 18, the European Union fined Google a record $5.1 billion for requiring Android device vendors to include its core services including its Chrome and Search apps. Google says it will appeal the ruling, but if it stands up in court, the EU will require Google to unbundle these apps from third-party phones sold in Europe. In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted that Google might end up being forced to start charging for Android itself.

Whatever the motivation, “Fuchsia is more than a basement skunkworks effort,” says Bloomberg. More than 100 people work on the project, including renowned UI designer Matias Duarte and Nick Kralevich, a lead security engineer for Android. One Bloomberg source called Project Fuchsia “a senior-engineer retention project” intended to keep veteran talent from jumping ship.

Bloomberg’s sources reveal that there have been major debates between Google’s engineering and sales staff over security and privacy features. Fuchsia’s support for greater privacy was seen as a threat to Google’s advertising model. So far, said the source, “The ad team prevailed.” For now, however, the Bloomberg story suggests that Google plan to keep Fuchsia an open source project.

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3 responses to “As EU tightens screws on Android, Google focuses on a Fuchsia future”

  1. Geert Uytterhoeven says:

    “Oracle’s claims regarding Linux”?

  2. Nonya says:

    Android’s biggest flaw is how it allows Google to spy on users and collect personal information for advertising purposes! From the above article, Fuchsia will not be any different in this respect.

  3. test says:

    No, it is Java.

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