Huawei was forced to embark on the “road of no return” as an operating system: the key to developers becoming Hongmeng

From being unable to use GMS, to being unable to produce HiSilicon chip Kirin 9000, to being a swan song, to being unable to use products containing any American technology at all, under three rounds of continuous escalation of suppression, Huawei seems to have no way back. “Huawei’s competitiveness and market share in the mobile phone market will be negatively affected. The best scenario is that Huawei’s market share decreases, and the worst scenario is that Huawei exits the mobile phone market.” said Guo Mingchi, an electronics industry analyst.

Huawei was forced to embark on the "road of no return" as an operating system: the key to developers becoming Hongmeng 1

When the despair and depression reached its climax, the courage to live toward death came to life. This courage promotes the rapid iteration of the five-monthly version of HMS Core and promotes the accelerated application of Hongmeng. At the 2020 Developers Conference, Yu Chengdong announced that Hongmeng OS was officially open source: “Huawei smartphones will fully support the Hongmeng system next year.”

Rome is not a day’s work, and Huawei is very clear about the difficulty of making ecology: “The difficulty of making technology itself and ecology may be orders of magnitude different. The scope of all aspects involved in the ecological field is wide, there are many fields, and the content. Deep, it’s really very, very difficult.”

Microsoft failed to do Windows Phone, Samsung failed to do Tizen system…On the way to do the operating system, even the super-tech giants will inevitably “fight for nothing.” However, in this special historical period, Huawei has no choice but to go to this “road of no return.”

“As soon as I heard of the Battle of Songhu, my tears almost came down”

At the 2020 Developers Conference, Huawei launched a series of software ecological technology products such as Hongmeng OS 2.0, HMS Core 5.0, EMUI 11, HMS, HiLink, and Research. These products are the foundation for building Huawei’s own ecology.

Yu Chengdong announced at the meeting that Hongmeng OS 2.0 is open source, and the Beta version of smartphones will be released to developers at the end of the year, and he promised that Huawei mobile phones will be fully equipped with Hongmeng system next year.

“From September 10, Hongmeng OS will be open sourced for 128KB-128MB terminal devices such as large screens, watches, car machines, etc. It will be open sourced for 128MB-4GB terminal devices with memory in April 2021, and will be open sourced for 4GB or more after October 2021. All equipment is open source.” Yu Chengdong said in his speech that Huawei donated the code to the China Open Atomic Open Source Foundation and announced the open source roadmap of Hongmeng OS.

In terms of technology, Hongmeng OS 2.0 brings a comprehensive improvement of distributed capabilities, including the upgrade of the three core capabilities of distributed soft bus, distributed data management, and distributed security, providing developers with complete distributed equipment and applications Development ecology.

It can be seen from the progress of Hongmeng OS 2.0 that Huawei has indeed given up its illusions. According to the Hongmeng OS history and roadmaps released in 2019, it was not yet stated that Hongmeng would be applied to mobile phones, and in 2021 Hongmeng’s floor-to-ceiling products were speakers and headphones. After three rounds of suppression, Huawei did not dare to pin its hopes on others.

If Hongmeng solves the problem of “tomorrow”, then HMS solves the problem of “this second”. In May 2019, Google “cut off supply” and lost the GMS that overseas users rely so heavily on. Huawei mobile phones are equivalent to losing their souls.

In order to solve the unavailability of Huawei mobile phones overseas, Huawei has mobilized thousands of backbone forces from various departments for the 9-month “Songhu Battle”, and stated that “Building an HMS ecosystem is the top priority and the highest priority task. .”

In fact, HMS 2.0 first appeared in 2016, with only three basic functions: account, payment, and push. However, since 2019, HMS has maintained a rapid version iteration that occurs every five months.

With the release of HMS Core 5.0, the Battle of Songhu has come to an end. “As soon as those who participated in the battle heard about the Songhu Battle, their tears were about to come down. This is the Songhu Battle.” Zhang Pingan, president of Huawei’s consumer business cloud service department, said frankly in an interview with media including Sohu Technology.

The loss of GMS mainly affected sales in the European region. In the second quarter of this year, Huawei’s ranking in the European mobile phone market has fallen to fourth, being overtaken by Xiaomi. In the first quarter of last year, Huawei ranked second with a share of 25.39%, second only to Samsung. How serious the consequences of losing GMS are, how strong is Huawei’s determination to become HMS.

At the Developer Conference, Huawei’s HMS Core 5.0 was officially unveiled, and five major service engines including payment, advertising, browsing, maps, and search were fully opened to the world. Compared with 2019, HMS global registered developers have increased by 98%, HMS Core applications have increased by 123%, and the number of overseas boutique applications has increased by 10 times.

At present, Hongmeng has not been applied to mobile phones, but some functions and concepts have been integrated into the EMUI system. The newly released EMUI 11 is equipped with Hongmeng’s core distributed technology, which can achieve more collaboration between devices. Moreover, Huawei said that models equipped with EMUI 11 will support the upgrade to the Hongmeng system in the future.

Wang Chenglu, President of Huawei’s Consumer Business Software Department, said: “When supporting Android, Huawei has almost replaced the internals of the Android system. Almost everything that can be changed from the bottom to the abstraction layer has been changed. (Many functions and technologies) even Google I didn’t even think about it.”

Was forced to go on the “road of no return”

Operating system is a “no return”, even the “famous background” is mostly a short-lived one. For example, Samsung’s Tizen system, QNX system and Windows Phone system developed by Microsoft all failed because it was difficult to establish their own ecosystem.

As early as the 1980s, the QNX system focused on microkernel and distributed architecture at the beginning of its design. In 2011, a media report stated: “Windows XP has exceeded 40 million lines of code, Linux (Android) has also exceeded 12 million lines of code, while QNX has only 100,000 lines of code. The QNX system has fewer lines of code and is easy to check and analyze. , Which means higher security.”

In 2010, Canadian BlackBerry mobile phone manufacturer RIM acquired the QNX software business from Harman International, but QNX did not shine in the mobile phone field because of its BlackBerry backing.

The success of the mobile operating system is determined to a greater extent by the ecology, as Linux founder Linus said: “What users want to use is not the operating system itself, but the application on it-the ecosystem of the operating system.”

Prior to this, Ren Zhengfei was also very cautious about Hongmeng’s application in mobile phones: “The Hongmeng system was not created for mobile phones itself, but was built for the future Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, industrial control, and driverless driving, strictly controlling time delays. , Will not exceed 5 milliseconds, even as low as milliseconds and sub-milliseconds.”

It is not an easy task to “beat” the Android and iOS ecosystems, which account for nearly 99.62% of the market share. “The challenge is that the ecosystem is difficult to establish in a short time, not the technical difficulties of the operating system itself.” An IT industry person told Sohu Technology, “and Linux is open source and it has done a good enough job. Most programmers adhere to the principle of’don’t reinvent the wheel’.”

Although the ecological development of HMS, which “paved the way” for Hongmeng, is very fast, it still has not established barriers. Booking, Line, Agoda, Lazada…Although more than 80% of the top 3000 apps are available in the Huawei app market, just as domestic users only care about whether to use WeChat, Douyin, Alipay, and overseas users only I care about whether the top applications such as Facebook, Youtube, and Paypal are available. The top applications in HMS are still missing, and Google Suite applications such as Gmail are also blank.

In addition to the ecological construction that is still “naive”, the Hongmeng system also faces problems about being difficult to be accepted by leading manufacturers and adapting to hardware. Telecommunications analyst Fu Liang said in an interview earlier that “how to get the head phone manufacturers to accept Hongmeng is a problem. Although Huawei has 200 million mobile phones shipped, it is largely due to the Android industry chain.”

Wu Jun, the author of “Top of the Wave”, pointed out that neither Hongmeng nor Fuchsia are mature, because the processor and operating system are facing adaptability problems: “The ARM processor is designed to be synchronized and coordinated with Android, so the degree of coupling is very high. , Other operating systems running on ARM processors cannot reach the efficiency of Android.”

“It is dangerous to flourish without roots”

The three rounds of US sanctions did not give Huawei any breathing room, and made Huawei “give up its illusions and recognize the reality, and can only rely on itself.” The August 17 sanctions were the heaviest blow. On this day, the U.S. Department of Commerce further tightened restrictions on Huawei’s access to U.S. technology, and at the same time included Huawei’s 38 subsidiaries in 21 countries in the “entity list”.

The new regulations basically block Huawei’s direct purchase of chips from other chip manufacturers that use US technology. Each cooperation requires approval by the US Department of Commerce and a license.

Electronics industry analyst Guo Mingchi believes: “Huawei’s competitiveness and market share in the mobile phone market will be negatively affected. The best scenario is that Huawei’s market share decreases, and the worst scenario is that Huawei exits the mobile phone market.” Some media predict that Huawei The shipment of mobile phones in 2021 is 50 million units, which will plummet by nearly 80%.

GMS stopped supplying, cell phone sales in the European market plummeted, chip supply stopped, and the worst-case scenario was to withdraw from the mobile phone market. A “physical list” has almost made it difficult for the top domestic technology giants. Wang Chenglu believes that this is a pain without “roots”: “Although many high-tech companies in China have entered the world’s top 500, such “blooming leaves” are very Dangerous, it can be overthrown in an instant. Why? Because we don’t have a root.”

Because there is no “root”, Huawei has issued the most sincere cry-“Every developer is a single spark that Huawei wants to gather, and a single spark can start a prairie fire!” On the second day of the release of Hongmeng 2.0, Huawei A series of technical forums such as “Hongmeng Application Development”, “Hongmeng Intelligent Hardware Development” and “Overseas Summit” have been held, attracting many developers to participate.

Zhang Lin is a JAVA engineer and an entrepreneur. The team he leads is working on a social software about AI face recognition. It is expected that it will be launched on the domestic app store by the end of the year. He told Sohu Technology that he made his own App It’s not on the shelves yet. This time I mainly want to learn about the Hongmeng system. “Although there is no open source for the mobile version, I think this is a future trend. The Internet industry is very competitive. If you don’t pay attention to these new things , I was knocked down if I didn’t pay attention.”

Li Yunguang is a product manager. His company previously made a cleanup tool software for overseas users. Sohu Technology learned that this software was originally on the Google App Store, but it was removed without knowing why. It is useless for the company to appeal to Google. “In terms of compliance, we have basically achieved the best. For example, in terms of advertising, we don’t even have pop-ups, so we very much hope that HMS and Hongmeng can grow up quickly.”

For developers, especially those who specialize in sea applications, the emergence of HMS and Hongmeng means that they provide them with a new choice. “Although at present, the income brought by joining the HMS ecosystem is still It’s relatively limited, but at least our App will not be removed for no reason.”

Hongmeng officially open sourced on September 10th. At present, most developers are still in a wait-and-see state whether to develop applications based on Hongmeng. Some programmers who have been “early adopters” said that “coding experience is similar to Android.” Compared with the Android system, Hongmeng’s micro-kernel and distributed characteristics may be more suitable for the era of multi-device collaboration in the Internet of Things era, which represents a new technology trend.

Regarding the cost of application development based on the Hongmeng system, a developer who specializes in the K12 English education app told Sohu Technology: “Most developers should not give up on Android, so adapting Hongmeng may mean development and maintenance costs. However, Huawei’s mobile phone sales currently account for half of the domestic mobile phone shipments, and the future benefits are worth looking forward to.”

It is understood that Hongmeng 1.0 has been applied to smart screens, and products equipped with Hongmeng 2.0 are more abundant, such as smart screens, watches, automobiles, home appliances, etc., and home appliances equipped with Hongmeng will be released soon. After supporting Hongmeng, the interaction between other smart products and the mobile phone is easier. For example, when the mobile phone touches the electric oven, the recipe selected in the mobile phone can be transmitted to the electric oven, and delicious dishes can be cooked in a predetermined way.

The sparks of developers gathered have become the hope of Huawei’s future ecological construction. Under heavy pressure, Huawei has taken the most difficult step, accumulating the power of the most precious developers, which is exactly the nutrient needed by the “root”.

Produced | Sohu Technology

Author | Zhang Yating

Edit | Yang Jin