BharOS was recently announced as the new home-grown operating system by IIM Madras. It is developed by JandK Operations Private Limited, a non-profit organization of IIT Madras The new mobile operating system aims to tackle Google’s dominance in the Android space by setting a target of reaching country’s 100 crore mobile users.
The new indigenously developed OS system is intriguing the developing tech industry of India, and the first question which is coming to everyone’s mind is if BharOS can be an alternative for Google’s Android.
BharOS is very similar to Android because they share the same basics. Because BharOS uses AOSP or Android Open Source Project, the functionalities and the methodologies both OS use are essentially the same.
“Any Android operating system is a fork of the original Linux distribution. We have used some early versions of Linux; it’s basically a derivative of the Linux kernel. However, a lot of customisation including security protocols, such as root of trust and chain of trust modifications have been done to create BharOS,” said Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras director V Kamakoti in a conversation with Money Control.
Google currently has 95% market share in the mobile operating systems market in India. It has a set user base and offers multiple flexibilities for a smooth user experience. What sets BharOS apart from Android, is that it is free from Google Services and Apps. Google has used its preinstalled apps and services to collect data, sometimes without explicitly asking a user.
Most probably, BharOS will be limited to new and upcoming devices, and perhaps not be launched officially for older devices. Moreover, BharOS is currently only for those organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and “whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles.”
The new OS will also provide access to Private App Store Services (PASS), that offer trusted apps from specific organizations. “A PASS provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and have met certain security and privacy standards of organizations” the developers said in a statement.
The developers of BharOS have not provided any information on its release date or supported smartphones. However, it is speculated that the developers will collaborate with smartphone manufacturers to launch smartphones running on BharOS in the near future. Additionally, it is expected that OS developers will collaborate with OEM- Original equipment manufacturers, to launch the smartphone supported by BharOS in future.
The main aim of the developers is to offer a home-grown operating system which does not rely on any foreign company. So, it will have its own app store which will allow users to download and install apps, eliminating the need for the Google App Store.