Google just revealed another totally new operating system

KataOS and Sparrow header
(Image credit: Google)

Google is hoping to expand its stake in the software industry with the launch of  KataOS, a new OS for machine learning tools.

Described in a company blog post (opens in new tab) as, "a provably secure platform that's optimized for embedded devices that run ML applications", KataOS will run alongside its reference implementation, Sparrow.

Most computer users will be accustomed to the Windows and macOS operating systems, while pro users have been left to source their favourite Linux distro for more specific operations.

Google announces KataOS and Sparrow

In its announcement, the company stated the importance of being able to build “verifiably secure systems for embedded hardware” as smart devices become more commonplace. 

Google says that our personally identifiable data - like images and voice recordings - could be at risk if the devices can’t be mathematically proven to keep data secure.

While there’s “plenty left to do”, Google has still confirmed some details about the upcoming KataOS. In the past, the company has favored the Carbon and C++ programming languages, however its new project is “written almost entirely in Rust”, according to its related GitHub page (opens in new tab)

The Register (opens in new tab) takes a closer look at the underlying seL4 microkernel, which is usually implemented in C. The article explains how CAmkES, which uses Haskell and Python, comes into play as an “abstraction layer to join the C and Rust layers together.” 

Google sees this as the first step in a “future where intelligent ambient ML systems are always trustworthy.” 

Moving forward, the company hopes to open source all of Sparrow - both hardware and software.

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the electrification of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!