The maker of ‘BharOS’, India’s first indigenously developed operating system, is opening its doors to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of handset and to corporates, offering a secured environment for users. Within 24 hours since its launch, at least eight companies have already approached its maker JandK Operations, incubated by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras.
At present, BharOS is compatible with Google Pixel phones and steps are being taken to rope in other OEMs. On Tuesday, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ashwini Vaishnaw successfully tested BharOS. “Whichever vendor or OEMs comes to us and opens up their development manual or trusted execution manual, we will port and give it to them. We welcome them,” said V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras.
JandK Operations, which wants to commercialise the model, is also aiming to rope in organisations that want safe communication among their employees. “Already, about 7-8 companies have approached us. As an organisation, we can give them a secured mobile communication environment,” Kamakoti added. Talks with the organisations are in initial stage and JandK Operations is spearheading them.
BharOS comes with no default applications. This means users are not forced to use apps they may not be familiar with or trust. This approach gives users more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, as they can choose to only allow the apps they trust to access certain features or data on their device. BharOS is reportedly based on a Linux kernel.
The system can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets. According to the media reports, BharOS services are currently being provided to entities that have stringent privacy and security rules and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles.
“All those with mobiles will only execute hardware certified by the organisation. There will be an appstore set for each entity. Also, users can only install applications that exist in the private app store of their organisations. That essentially means the organisation gets full control over the mobile communication environment. This will be the first line of business for the startup company,” Kamakoti added. The operating system will thus provide access to applications through Private App Store Services (PASS).
“We say it is more secure than other operating systems as there are multiple layers of software, each of which will certify the next layer. “BharOS has something called a high assurance boot. When the system boots up, the hardware will check whether or not the first code thrown up has been certified by the organisation. Even if there is a small change, the code will not boot,” he added.