What else does a boy need?
If you’re reading this, it’s courtesy of one of two operating systems that were born in the Rhythmless Void between the break up of the Beatles and the Great Disco Awakening: UNIX or CP/M. (Unless you are truly an uber geek and still rocking your Commodore 64 or pre-OS X Apple or something even more esoteric – I genuflect in abject admiration. Or unless you’re a masochist and you’re reading this on a Blackberry: I salute your embrace of pain and humiliation).
Microsoft Windows is a direct descendent of CP/M, although little of the original DNA is left. Pretty much everything else is within two or three degrees of consanguinity with UNIX. Mac OS, iOS, Android, Tizen and Linux all exchanged presents in their pyjamas on Christmas morning.
It’s been a long, long time (sorry, I’ll always have Linda Ronstadt on the brain – it’s a Seventies thing) since anyone wrote a new OS kernel with staying power. But Google is giving it a try. Google posted Fuchsia OS as an open source project on GitHub this past summer, and it is still under active development. It’s an operating system that’s been built from scratch, without obvious reference to the Glitter Rock era. According to a post on Linux.com by Sam Dean…
Could Google be completely reinventing the core functionality of what we consider to be an operating system? There are certainly historical precedents for that. When Google launched a beta release of Gmail in 2004, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail and other services had absolutely dominant positions in the online email space. Look what happened. Google reimagined online email. Likewise, Chrome OS reimagined the operating system with unprecedented security features and cloud-centricity.
It’s worth watching, even if it’s not strictly necessary. I’ll happily live out my years with just a stack of Linda’s 8-tracks beside me.