This afternoon I’ve been watching the Google OS announcement and all I can say is that this is what Mark Zuckerberg first announced when they released Platform, two and a half years ago. Many assumed that the acquisition of Parakey was a step toward truly building the web operating system of the future. Blake Ross, the developer of Firefox and Parakey, has been working on Facebook Lite though. Joe Hewitt, the other Parakey developer, had been working on the Facebook iPhone application until recently. So where is Facebook OS?
Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed Facebook as the “social operating system” and ultimately it has become just that to a certain extend. The largest issue is that utility focused applications have never done well on Facebook because it doesn’t function as a full blown operating system yet. In other words, you don’t spend all your time from within Facebook. Instead you spend the vast majority of from within a web browser.
If you want to listen to Google’s explanation of the problem in an overly enthusiastic tone, you can watch the video below. Now it’s very possible that Facebook is still working on the truly “social operating system”. Facebook has had a significant impact on all new platforms including the iPhone platform, the Google Android operating system, and all other social platforms on the web. The primary feature that Facebook innovated was notifications (which is now being depricated) as well as the stream, and I’d argue that Facebook was a catalyst for the multi-platform wars.
The number of platforms for developers to build on has increased dramatically in just the past two and a half years and Facebook has proven to be one of the leading platforms. With Facebook appearing to move away from being a destination site in the future, one would only expect Facebook to continue moving forward with the original vision of becoming the “social operating system”. The only question now is whether or not the vision has been lost or if one day we’ll actually have the choice of booting up our devices with Facebook, the social operating system.