Huawei has unveiled a proprietary operating system called HarmonyOS NEXT. At a presentation on the development, the CEO described the OS as a fully independent OS with a full-featured artificial intelligence system. The CEO also stated that the Harmony kernel is three times more efficient than Linux.
Huawei HarmonyOS NEXT is the “next big thing” from the Chinese company. According to Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, “it’s a real operating system, not an Android shell.” The CEO also clarified that the OS is not Linux or Unix-based. During the presentation, company representatives noted that HarmonyOS Next is built from scratch and entirely on proprietary solutions, including the kernel (HarmonyOS), file system (EROFS/HMDFS), compilers (Ark Compiler), neural networks (Pangu) and libraries. Applications for HarmonyOS Next can be developed in ArkTS or Cangjie language together with ArkUI and ArkUI-X UI framework, HarmonyOS Design is used as a design system, and code can be written in DevEco Studio environment.
HarmonyOS NEXT uses the self-developed Harmony kernel, which Huawei claims is three times more memory efficient than Linux kernels. The company claims that the OS utilizes a “heterogeneous native engine” so that the OS is able to deliver a smooth experience.
In addition to efficiency, HarmonyOS NEXT also focuses on security. At the event, Huawei revealed that the new OS has three top-level security certifications and provides kernel-level security. It also features artificial intelligence capabilities that work right on the device to compete with Android implementations from other leading brands.
Overall, the main goal of Huawei’s HarmonyOS NEXT is to offer a privacy-focused operating system optimized for a seamless user experience. With it, the company will also free itself from the American technologies it relied on to create the operating system for Huawei smartphones.
Huawei is not only focusing on software, but also on building an entire ecosystem. They have secured the support of over 200 industry partners and aim to attract 5,000 by the end of 2024. Big companies like Meituan have already joined the process, creating apps specifically for HarmonyOS. This initiative is not only about creating a new operating system, but also about creating a whole new technology community.
Having abandoned Android, HarmonyOS Next lost all applications – now the store for the OS has about 200 programs, but by the end of the year the company plans to increase this number to 5 thousand. In the future, Huawei aims to fill the store with 500 thousand applications. For this purpose, the company cooperates with developers, releases SDKs, documentation and training materials. The company is investing heavily in this endeavor, allocating 7 billion yuan for innovation in everything from native apps to development tools. These investments aren’t just monetary, they’re focused on the future of technology and are designed to nurture the next generation of developers through partnerships with more than 300 educational institutions.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if Huawei can really deliver on its promises with HarmonyOS NEXT. The operating system is currently in the developer preview stage, with a stable rollout scheduled for Q4 2024.
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