I woke up this morning to the fascinating news that Huawei, the corporation behind the MateBook series of laptops, would be developing its own operating system for PC called HarmonyOS (via ghacks). But the news of this wasn’t a simple announcement of its occurrence, but instead spun by some websites with an angle regarding the current dominance of Windows.
Apparently HarmonyOS could pose a serious threat to Windows, but does anyone believe this for a second? It sounds like nothing more than an attempt at stirring up a pot that barely exists within its current form. In reality, HarmonyOS doesn’t stand a chance against Windows.
HarmonyOS can’t compete and it won’t have to
Everything stated within this article is speculation. It’s entirely possible that HarmonyOS will dominate the market, but I have serious doubts. This is the equivalent of saying Linux has a chance at finally dethroning the unstoppable champion that is Windows. But the truth is that Microsoft has its hands within nearly every corner of a PC user’s life.
Chromebooks have become popular because they fulfill a specific niche within the market for those in need of inexpensive, lightweight operating systems which let them focus on a specific suite of apps. Does anyone truly think that Chromebook can compete against Windows? Of course not, and it doesn’t need to. The same can be said for HarmonyOS.
These two don’t have to be in competition just because both are PC operating systems. We can already see how much both ChromeOS and macOS have struggled within the gaming space regardless of their many attempts to try and appear relevant. I’m sure many of us have seen those awful Chromebook YouTube ads showcasing celebrities gaming on ChromeOS.
Gamers are nowhere near the exclusive population making up PC users, but they’re a factor that cannot be ignored. 30 million Steam users are currently online at the time of writing this article. 96.61% of users in August have played using a Windows device according to Valve’s hardware surveys. I’ve seen arguments that Windows 11’s lack of popularity will ensure HarmonyOS can thrive, but 39.22% of those who contributed to the survey were using Windows 11.
Can Windows be a total pain the in butt sometimes? Absolutely. But what makes it the most popular consumer choice is that it is everywhere and can be used for everything. HarmonyOS would not only need to be a system that can do everything, from running the biggest games to having compatibility with important applications, Huawei would need to make deals with the biggest manufacturers in the world.
If Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Razer, HP, Dell and far more aren’t using HarmonyOS for a line of laptops, this system launch will feel like the company has tossed a pebble into the ocean. And that’s completely okay.
HarmonyOS doesn’t need to be a grandiose masterpiece that undoes the reign of Windows. It’s fine for it to have its own special use case, like how ChromeOS fulfilled a market niche for those who need inexpensive hardware. Apple also continues to thrive with the sleek simplicity of MacOS, alongside its incredible line of apps. Huawei doesn’t need to be the next Windows, it can simply do its own thing and that’s more than enough.
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