Fuchsia spotted: Google's unreleased software now on new hardware

Fuchsia spotted: Google's unreleased software now on new hardware

The Pixelbook runs Chrome OS out of the box, but our friends over at SlashGear seems to have spotted one that runs Fuchsia OS. A very early version of Fuchsia OS, the new open source Google platform we first learned of last spring, was just quietly released to developers.

KitGuru Says: Fuchsia might be open source, but it sounds like it is going to be a while before Google begins talking about it publicly.

Fuchsia is built on Magenta, which is itself based on LittleKernel, a code created to be used in an embedded system, that is, computers that have a specific goal without any user interaction.

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There haven't been many developments on this front lately, but seemingly out of nowhere, Google has added the Pixelbook as an officially supported device for testing Fuchsia. So what's it doing running Fuchsia? And in addition to the Pixelbook, Fuchsia also runs on the Acer Switch Alpha 12 and the mini PC kit Intel NUC. As Fuchsia OS is still in early stages of development, it requires two machines to install the OS on the Pixelbook.

What Does Fuchsia Run on Right Now?

Prior to this, many had speculated that Fuchsia could be some kind of hybrid operating system that combines both desktop and mobile functionality into a single platform, thus allowing users to seamlessly swap between their computers and smartphones. Google stopped developing this branch of the system UI, though, so there's no way to get it running on an Android phone anymore. Google recommends installing the OS with a USB drive, but the media creation process is "destructive" to this USB device. Fuchsia developers were also aiming for it to run on a Raspberry Pi 3.

Chromebooks in general are flexible devices, and it makes sense for Google's flagship computer to be used as a testbed for its next-generation operating system, even if it's not exactly clear what the whole goal of Fuchsia is at this point. In any case there's no telling on when Google might share details about the platform, but Google I/O 2018 is taking place later this year so perhaps this is the year Google could finally announce something.

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