What it is: Google has been developing an alternative operating system to Android called Fuchsia.
One reason why Android dominates the mobile computing market is because Google gives it away for free. With so many developers creating Android apps, it only makes sense for manufacturers to use Android rather than create their own operating system like Samsung is trying to do with Tizen or that Microsoft tried to do with Windows Phone. At this point, people won’t buy a smartphone if it doesn’t come with lots of apps and developers won’t write apps for any operating system that isn’t popular so they can make money.
That’s why Google’s work with Fuchsia is so interesting. Whatever improvements Fuchsia offers over Android won’t mean anything if there aren’t apps for Fuchsia. If Fuchsia allows Android apps to run on it, then there’s no point in using Fuchsia and developers will continue writing apps for the larger Android market.
Fuchsia is meant to overcome the flaws in Android, but that still means people will need to embrace it so developers will embrace it. Even with Google’s backing, Fuchsia faces an uphill climb to overcome Android simply because so many Android apps already exist. Because Android is so successful, Fuchsia will have a hard time succeeding.
If Google tries to switch everyone to Fuchsia, Android will still be around since it’s open source. Without Google’s official support, Android risks withering away slowly, but that assumes Fuchsia can catch up to Android in a hurry. No matter what, any transition period between leaving Android and embracing Fuchsia will be a time of confusion, which will simply give Apple a chance to snare more customers away from Android.
Dumping an entire operating system to replace it with a new one will be a huge challenge even for a company like Google. Fuchsia’s success will likely only come with steady growth at he same time as Google continues updating Android. Only when Fuchsia becomes nearly as popular as Android could Google dump Android, but if that never happens, expect Fuchsia to linger as a niche product while Android marches on.
Ultimately, the success of Android spells the failure of Fuchsia.