Google Hires Apple Veteran to Bring Fuchsia to Market

Posted on January 23, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 21 Comments

Google has hired a 14-year Apple veteran to work on its upcoming Fuchsia OS. The company has been working on the new OS for a while now, and it has been a talking point throughout last year.

Google is still nowhere near releasing actual products powered by Fuchsia, but it’s now hired Bill Stevenson, a software engineer who has worked on some of Apple’s popular products like Mac, OS X, AirPlay, iCloud, etc. Most recently, he was responsible for Mac and Windows program management at Apple, leading teams for the release and technical management for macOS and Apple’s Windows software, reports 9to5Google.

He was also responsible for the development schedule, beta releases, risk management and launch logistics for the recent major macOS releases, including Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave.

On LinkedIn, Stevenson announced that he is joining Google to work on Fuchsia and help bring it to market. “I’m excited to share that this February I will be joining Google to help bring a new operating system called Fuchsia to market. Stay tuned!”, Stevenson said.

Stevenson’s appointment could be an indicator of Google thinking about the product side of things for Fuchsia. The company has been focused on the technical side of the new OS for a while, and it’s probably going to start looking into release, launch, and marketing plans for Fuchsia. That obviously doesn’t mean we will see a real product powered by Fuchsia this year, so don’t get your hopes up — yet.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Google Hires Apple Veteran to Bring Fuchsia to Market”

  1. skane2600

    I suspect the result will be more focus on specific appropriate product areas for fuchsia and less on the "everything for everywhere" hype that has dominated the discussion so far.

    • obarthelemy

      In reply to skane2600:

      The way I see it, Fuchsia is both a core OS (that implements modern advances and gets rid of the update issues) and runtimes on top of that for different situations (IoT, low-capabilities ie smart speakers, and regular computer ie phones, tablets, and lap/desktops). I wouldn't even be surprised if, long term and if things work out, Google's infrastructure switches from Linux to Fuchsia.

      So I guess it is everything for everywhere, but because by design it is even more modular than Linux, it's not an issue on the technical side - it's actually an objective. I'm worried about the UI/UX though, but that's an upper layer.

      • skane2600

        In reply to obarthelemy:

        Even at the lowest level, the intended purpose of an OS impacts the architecture and the added higher levels can't change its fundamental nature.

        • obarthelemy

          In reply to skane2600:

          Isn't that precisely what going with a microkernel is attempting to change ? The way I understand it, Fuchsia's Zircon kernel does nothing but play "resource referee" which sould make it even more versatile than Linux which runs frrom the mallest iOT to the largest clusters ?

          To my knowledge, the one exception is real-time, for which you need a deterministic, certified environment, and I haven't heard of Zircon being that.

          • skane2600

            In reply to obarthelemy:

            Fuchsia has been described as an RTOS which is one basis for my comment. Even non-real-time embedded systems often have very limited resources available so Fuchsia may be overkill for that segment. In some cases it won't be Fuchsia vs Linux, but Fuchsia vs custom code.

            • Oreo

              In reply to skane2600:

              Fuchsia is only half the story here: the API on top of it is inherently cross platform (including iOS and Android), and Fuchsia is meant to be a new, leaner OS that runs this API.

              • skane2600

                In reply to Oreo:

                Often the bar is set very low for cross platform claims. True cross platform (in this case, dual platform) would imply that you could write a non-trivial app without giving any thought or taking any action to address the differences between iOS and Android (either imperatively or declaratively) and it would work identically on both.


                Because the ability to support more than one platform by tweaking it for each system has been a standard technique for nearly 40 years.

                • Oreo

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Agreed. I personally think that almost all cross platform apps are mediocre at best, but usually crap. They tend to stick to their own UI paradigms and do not feel native to any platform. Then there are others that are native to one platform but not another (think Apple's Music app on Android or Google's apps on iOS). Also, it means that many helpful features that can only be found on one platform are not taken advantage of.


                  Fuchsia's native API is different is that the whole API is from the very beginning cross platform, i. e. in principle any app that runs on Fuchsia can be made into an iOS app with minimal effort.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to Oreo:

                  I think your last statement is just a claim. What exactly about the design or implementation makes it "from the very beginning cross platform"? How is it different than any other cross-platform scheme?

                • obarthelemy

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  We're drifting to Flutter which is something else, but Flutter certainly isn't dual-platform: it supports iOS and Android, and also Web medium.com/flutter-io/hummingbird-building-flutter-for-the-web-e687c2a023a8 , and Fuchsia.


                  Flutter does things rather differently than other cross-platform dev toolkits: hackernoon.com/flutter-vs-react-native-vs-xamarin-for-cross-platform-development-5f92cfb178ff


                  (sorry, for some reason I can't post clickable links)

                • Oreo

                  In reply to obarthelemy:

                  Since Flutter is Fuchsia's native API, I don't think we can discuss the two separately — unless you want to limit our discussion to the kernel. As soon as we discuss what Fuchsia OS will look like and how Google would switch from Android to Fuchsia, we need to include Flutter here, too. And it is an interesting choice for Google to design a cross-platform API to a new kernel.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to obarthelemy:

                  From your link: "At Flutter Live today, we announced that we are experimenting with running Flutter on the Web."


                  "Experimenting". That's not exactly confirmation that Flutter will support the Web. In any case, it's dangerous to take whatever goals are stated during the development stage of an unreleased project and assume that it will be fully implemented when it becomes a product and is finally released.

  2. dontbe evil

    google fuchsia + apple veteran = what a mess

  3. rbwatson0

    Windows software? If this guy was responsible for iTunes on Windows, then this may not be the best hire...

  4. longhorn

    I'm not sure what Google is trying to create and I'm not sure Google is either. They are trying to get away from Linux and Java. So it seems more about what Google is trying to get away from than super specific goals (correct me if I am wrong).


    The Android update problems have been solved (the technical side) by project Treble. Everything else is just politics, but if you buy Android One you don't have to deal with handset manufacturers' software. Too bad Google backtracked on Android One. 3 years of updates (minimum) would be welcome, but now the two year guarantee seems to have gone up in smoke.


  5. Jorge Garcia

    I just hope they call it something that people will immediately understand is a Google product. It took ages for normal people to understand what Chrome and later ChromeOS are.

  6. rmlounsbury

    These feels kinda underpants gnomes'ish right now.


    Step 1: Build an OS

    Step 2: ....???....

    Step 3: Profit!

  7. per.steinar

    Wunder what will be left of Linux in the consumer space if Google is able to replace the Linux underpinnings of Android and ChromeOS with Fuchsia.

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