"Google outlines plans for mainline Linux kernel support in Android"
This sounds to me as a simple example of Orwellian language. What I see is Google suggesting to make mainline Linux kernel just a shadow of itself; a weakened kernel that should communicate with an army of blobs to do any hardware related job.
Likely new phones will get a more recent kernel (arguably with better security features)
Moving drivers to user space is something that has been happening in other operating systems to improve security
Means that if the driver is exploited the attacker no longer has full control of the kernel
Many phone component suppliers wont ever open source their drivers because they contain their valuable IP
It also takes… 1/2
…a long time to get drivers accepted into the kernel. Considering the rapid pace of hardware development, its unlikely to be something component or phone manufacturers are ever likely to want to wait for. Would put Android at a distinct disadvantage compared to iPhone
It's true that the current situation of forking kernels to end up with non-maintainable one is a failure. It's also true that it is an improvement to the architecture of the android software. It will also, probably, provide a continuously updated system.
But this will be a pyrrhic victory for the digital rights of the users; it will institutionalize a design where the kernel is a foss sybsystem supposed just to talk with binaries. It reminds me the Web - DRM case.
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!