A very hot article is currently circulating around the web in which a relatively unknown tech analyst concludes that Fuchsia, Google’s new operating system, is the end game of what we dubbed Google’s “Andromeda” initiative last year. Unfortunately, despite the excitement it is generating, the post’s conclusions are largely speculative, not revelatory, in nature.
The article is seemingly based on the available technical material, code repositories, and various news stories written about Fuchsia to date, cobbled together into a hypothesis that Fuchsia must be the Andromeda project of lore. And it is stated in no uncertain terms: “Fuchsia is the actual name of the [Andromeda] operating system, while Magenta is the name of the kernel, or more correctly, the microkernel.”
But the author starts with a faulty assumption: that it is known that Fuchsia is being developed as a replacement for Android and or Chrome OS. It is decidedly not known. There is no information whatsoever that shows Google intends to replace Android, Chrome OS, or even for Fuchsia to have anything to do with those platforms. However, if you were inclined to Google “fuchsia android,” you would receive an endless list of titles asking if this could happen.
Et cetera. The reason this narrative has such appeal is precisely because we know so little about Google’s intentions with Fuchsia. It didn’t receive a formal announcement, there is no articulated strategy for the platform, and it hasn’t been included or referenced in any other Google products. This vacuum of official guidance on what Fuchsia is and what it is for has led to a sadly predictable state of affairs: the most radical interpretation of Fuchsia’s reason for existence is the dominant one. And that interpretation is that Fuchsia is here to replace Android (and Chrome OS) and fix all the things that are wrong with it – which is exactly what everyone wants to hear.
Would you give a damn about Fuchsia if Google came out and said it was an experimental OS project with no commercial plans, or just something they were developing for IoT products? You might care, but there’s no way you’d care nearly as much as if you were told it was the panacea to your complaints about Android, Chrome OS, fragmentation, OS updates, cross-platform compatibility, multiple form-factor support, and hell, maybe it does your taxes, too. And we need to realize that when there is such an absence of certainty and primary source information, it is much harder to hold radical interpretations of what little we have to go on accountable. After all, everyone is free to speculate – you’re just considering possible outcomes.