Firefox OS – Weekend must-read articles #22
Just a few days ago Mozilla revealed the Firefox OS, formerly called Boot 2 Gecko, a mobile OS. There’s much to like about the upcoming OS (to be launched in 2013), but Mozilla sure has a tough fight on its hands to get traction in the crowded mobile space. We wish Mozilla good luck and look forward to seeing the new OS on actual handsets next year.
Every Friday we bring you a collection of links to places on the web that we find particularly newsworthy, interesting, entertaining, and topical. We try to focus on some particular area or topic each week, but in general we will cover Internet, web development, networking, performance, security, and other geeky topics.
This week’s suggested reading
Mozilla’s upcoming Firefox Mobile OS is set to take on Android at the budget end of the smartphone market from next year. Telefonica, owner of the O2 mobile network in the UK and many others around the world, is heavily involved in the project with Mozilla as the companies develop the HTML 5 web-based OS. Telefonica Chief Executive, Matthew Key explained more about the ambition for the OS at a conference in London; “With the Firefox Mobile OS we can produce the same experience as on an Android handset more cheaply, or a better experience at the same price.”
Several new device manufacturers and mobile carriers have lined up to support Mozilla’s mobile operating system. The software platform, which is based on Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko (B2G) project, will be called Firefox OS when it launches on handsets next year. Mozilla began working on the B2G project last year, aiming to offer a truly open alternative to existing mobile operating systems. The B2G application stack and runtime environment are built around standards-based Web technologies instead of platform-specific development tools and frameworks.
Can you name a single software project that was backed by a consortium of wireless operators that ended up being a successful product? No, you can’t. So why is it that the internet is going nuts over the news that Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and Sprint are going to back Mozilla’s new mobile operating system, Firefox OS?
But the fact is, Firefox OS is not a game-changer in the least. The operating system has some interesting concepts, but it’s entering a market that it can’t possibly be successful in. With smartphones on the way that won’t impress anyone, how can the operating system really do something so special? It’s not always smart to bet against Mozilla and its high quality products, but in this case, don’t put your money on Mozilla.
Mozilla is the nonprofit organization that gave the world the first true rival to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox is the second-most used web browser in the world today and because of it the way we surf the Internet has changed dramatically. Their success was in part based on the lack of competitors. Firefox started gaining share when there was no one else around. Opera didn’t capitalize on this, but Firefox did. Their goal to penetrate the most difficult market has been achieved and it’s their desire to enter the mobile operating system world as well. Is this going to be tougher than the browser market? Considering that they haven’t yet released Firefox OS the answer is a very loud and clear: yes!
A phone powered by Firefox OS, an upcoming operating system by Mozilla, is set to debut early next year in some markets. And the platform running on the devices isn’t just another entrant in the reemerging operating system stars, says Mozilla: it’s a bid to push the status quo of development. The system’s selling point — and, potentially, its Achilles’ Heel — is a ground-up focus on HTML5. Mozilla hopes that by letting HTML5 access basic phone features, like calling and messaging, will woo a crowd of motivated developers to the new platform.
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