PQC: Folks, I received this news with a bunch of reservation. I did not want to call this bullshit … but it’s bullshit in a very typical Chinese characteristic. Any one of you remember the moment Putin presented Russian new powerful high-tech weapon with … animation? Oh well the Chinese actually said “This is Huawei’s Android back-up plan”! just a fucking back-up plan!!! It’s typical Yinyangism!

Since it is “open source” and better than Android then just bring it on so that developers and users can test, find bugs, develop new apps, and improve it for you. Millions of users around the world are happy and ready to flash their devices with “a better than android” OS. And if it turns out to be really and truly better than Android as it was said, then Android would be dead in just a matter of minutes! Good tech-news in this day and age spreads faster than speed of light! And flashing a device is no longer a rocket science!

Like I said in my previous comment, China should just make it a global public OS like Linux and do away the US monopoly and domination for good!

As I said China has everything but lacks only the courage to transform itself into a modern world with true self-confidence.

For the moment I don’t hold my breath. Either you have it or you don’t Huawei.

Huawei reveals Harmony OS, its alternative to Android

Richard Lai, @richardlai

Huawei’s long-rumored Android alternative, Hongmeng, is finally official. At today’s Huawei Developer Conference, the company’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu surprised the audience by unveiling “Harmony OS,” which he says is faster and safer than Android. That said, the software is primarily aimed at IoT products (such as smart displays, wearables, smart speakers and in-car devices) instead of smartphones, Yu stated that when Huawei can no longer access Google’s Android ecosystem, it can deploy Harmony OS “at any time.” Until then, Huawei will continue to support Android.

Yu’s own presentation was rather technical, but in a nutshell, Harmony OS is positioned as a future-proof, “microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios.” The platform is open source, and it’s actually more of a competitor to Google’s upcoming Fuchsia, given that both are microkernel-based and can be used on multiple types of devices at once. In contrast, his on-stage presentation said Android isn’t as efficient due to its redundant codes, outdated scheduling mechanism and general fragmentation issues. Shots fired.

Huawei Harmony OS

With a microkernel design, Harmony OS should be safer from the get-go as there is no root access available — the microkernel is protected by isolation from external kernel services. The system also applies formal verification — a set of mathematical approaches used in security-critical fields — to reliably spot vulnerabilities, whereas traditional methods are likely to miss some spots.

Despite being a lightweight system, Harmony OS is said to offer some performance boosts. For one, it’ll feature a “Deterministic Latency Engine” that can better allocate system resources using real-time analysis and forecasting. Android, on the other hand, is stuck with the Linux kernel’s less-intelligent fair scheduling mechanism. Harmony OS also allows for very fast “Inter Process Communication” — the link between its microkernel and external kernel services like file systems, networks, drivers, apps and more. Huawei claims that Harmony OS’ IPC performance is five times that of Google’s Fuchsia, and three times that of QNX.

Huawei Harmony OS architecture

According to Yu, Harmony OS has been in the works since 2017, and the version Huawei unveiled today will first target smart display products, such as the Huawei Vision due later this year. While this release still packs a Linux kernel and Huawei’s earlier Lite OS kernel alongside its own microkernel, version 2.0 due to arrive in 2020 will feature just a Harmony OS microkernel, thus making it a true Harmony OS. It’ll also support high-performance graphics then, to the point where the company hopes it will be powering “innovative PCs” along with wearables, in-car head units, speakers and VR glasses.

It’s clear that Huawei has intentionally avoided mentioning “smartphones” on the slides and press materials today, likely to avoid upsetting its pals over at Google, but Yu wasn’t afraid to admit that there may come a time when his company can no longer support the Android ecosystem. Regardless, developers will be able to port their Android apps over to Harmony OS using Huawei’s ARK compiler.

While the exec claimed that Harmony OS is ready to go “at any time,” it’s hard to tell whether all its supposed advantages will win over developers and users — especially those in the US. We’ve seen Samsung’s attempt to overthrow Android back in the days using Tizen, but nowadays it’s nothing more than the software powering its Galaxy wearables. Windows 10 Mobile is obviously another prime example, despite its emphasis on productivity and security.

And then, of course, Huawei still has a trust issue in the West. Despite strong financial performance recently, the company is cautious of its future due to continued pressure from the US government and its allies. In a way, Huawei is facing a tougher challenge than previous failed mobile OS attempts, and it may have to do more than building its own ecosystem.