Huawei Harmony OS: Doing What Microsoft Couldn’t

When the United States decided to sanction Huawei and deny it access to American technology, this forced Huawei to move away from Google and Android and adopt a new generation operating system on which he had been working quietly for years. The downside of a new operating system is that it doesn’t have initial developer support; the advantage is that since there is no developer support, the company does not have to worry about backward compatibility and can therefore push the boundaries of technology.

Huawei Harmony, now in its second generation, is a microkernel operating system designed to cover a variety of devices. Although it started on TVs, Huawei didn’t expect it to be started from American technology. The plan was then changed to extend it to many other smart home devices, including laptops and wearable devices. At the time of this writing, the operating system has not yet appeared on a PC. The model appears to be similar to that of Apple, where Huawei controls the user experience with much more flexibility and at lower fees than required by Apple.

Let’s talk about the reasons why you might want to consider Huawei’s Harmony operating system as the next platform for your apps.

One operating system for everything

One of Microsoft’s biggest failures was Windows 8. It was supposed to cover PCs and smartphones, but failed because Microsoft had to be backward compatible, which created issues with its smartphone offerings, making it uncompetitive. . In addition, the common user interface has been scanned by PC users, causing both the PC operating system and the smartphone’s effort to fail. The concept of a single operating system covering all devices is compelling but was not on the table when Windows was created, so modernizing that capability more than a decade later has not worked.

Apple couldn’t do that either and still has different operating systems on its PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Apple’s questionable route to cutting associated costs appears to be phasing out PCs over time and replacing them with iPads running iOS. This path has not been a resounding success either. DOS and macOS came into being because IBM’s platforms at the time could not scale to PCs. We have a similar problem now, but with much smaller devices. Nevertheless, the concept of a single operating system on various personal and IoT devices, such as digital assistants, remains compelling. Huawei seized this opportunity with its Harmony operating system.

While Steve Jobs tried to get Dell to license macOS, Michael Dell declined because he could not justify the additional cost of a dual boot PC. Huawei isn’t asking anyone to double down on anything, and I don’t think this approach would be more viable for them than for Dell and Apple. Still, the threat of a tech ban has prompted Chinese hardware makers to band together, and Xiaomi and Oppo have joined in the effort to protect themselves from the United States, banning them as well. Current projections have Huawei’s Harmony OS on up to 300 million devices by the end of 2021. This goal is undoubtedly aggressive, but with the support of the Chinese government, it is certainly possible in regions where Huawei continues to sell.

So the potential here is for Harmony OS to become a mix of Apple focus and Microsoft licensing for the next wave of vendors, mainly outside of China, who need an alternative to Microsoft and Google and are drawn to this open alternative. source.


The US ban on Huawei forced the company to quickly pivot and take a microkernel operating system it was developing for TVs and massively expand its capabilities. Huawei uses a mix of concepts inherited from Microsoft and Apple and current technology to create a next-generation platform already successful in Asia and Europe and promises a much better development experience than Apple’s, but with a similar focus on quality and user experience. Huawei’s new second-generation Harmony operating system is a blend of new technology and trusted concepts that promise a much better development experience than Apple can or will provide.

Huawei is moving fast on hardware. Its new Metapad Pro already rivals the iPad Pro (in Asia), and its Huawei Watch 3 is the the closest capacity to an Apple Watch I have seen so far. The problem with both products is not the technology or the platform. It’s the lack of apps. This shortage means that if you’re having a problem getting noticed on the Apple platform due to the sheer number of apps, you shouldn’t, at least for now, have a problem with Harmony. With Apple apparently at war with their developers, maybe it’s time to consider a vendor who still thinks they need developers, and instead of getting lost in Apple’s ocean of apps, can gain visibility in the growing developer pool. , but still small, from Huawei.

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