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Mozilla building an open-source OS for smartphones and tablets

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Mozilla building an open-source OS for smartphones and tablets
The browser wars have been around for almost as long as the Internet has, but while some mainstream desktop browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer have their own mobile versions backed up by a mobile platform, Firefox is on its own with no operating system behind it. Mozilla, the corporation developing it, however has envisioned a “complete, stand-alone operating system for the Web” named Boot to Gecko, abbreviated as B2G. The platform is specifically made for mobile devices.

Ambitious? Yes. Reasonable? Mozilla argues that its argumentation is built on the desire to give developers the opportunity to build HTML5 web applications nearing native apps in functionality. And that's where you might remember about the Chrome OS, Google's project with a similar goal. Actually, Mozilla is planning on using a huge chunk of another Google product – Android. While some code of the open-source platform might be used, the company says that big part of the system will be freshly coded.

At its core, Boot to Gecko will be an open-source project, shared as soon as it's written. You might be also wondering about the origins of the name of the project, but it's actually derived from the Gecko rendering engine, running in both Firefox and the Thunderbird e-mail client.

The code is still in its infancy and it doesn't lack competition from big players like Google itself, but also Apple with iOS and Microsoft with Windows Phone. You might be skeptic about the whole endeavor, but there's nothing to be skeptic about when it comes to Mozilla's idealism: "breaking the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world," that's all the company wants to do.


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posted on 26 Jul 2011, 07:58

1. NoNo (unregistered)


1st!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my GOD! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 09:44 1

13. tuminatr (Posts: 682; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)


by the way this is not new, Verizon passed on the G1 launch for a Mozilla phone that never appeared. I for one am NOT holding out for this one

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 10:20

15. android_hitman (Posts: 621; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


go back to gsmarena! :)))

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 14:21

19. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Ty, short but pointless.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:06 3

2. dionddc (Posts: 129; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


That's huge news. Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft - all fighting.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:11 2

4. Lexii (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)


uhm, no?

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:10

3. cyborg (unregistered)


operamini?

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:14 1

5. Lexii (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)


Get with the times, this is old news.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:18 2

6. dionddc (Posts: 129; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Obvious troll is obvious.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:19 1

7. Lexii (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)


Go back to maemo.org?

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:20 1

8. Lexii (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)


winner.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:34 1

9. Laurynas (unregistered)


Let's hope that Mozilla's Operatin System will be better than browser. :D

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 08:45

10. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Awesome. I love FF. Hope that only good comes out of this.

Did you hear Apple? They are making a mobile OS the PROPER WAY - Open Source.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 09:09 1

11. vantenkiest (Posts: 308; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)


Mozillas Browser still doesnt enable flash on mobile devices Fix that first. THEN make a browser

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 09:40 1

12. satya (unregistered)


Join the meego its opensource as well as now fully open for everyone thanks to nokia who is leaving this good OS

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 09:44 2

14. snowgator (Posts: 3233; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Okay, so how does this fit in??

Google/Android - sweating out lawsuits and some rising competition, but still the #1 OS. Little Green Robot- not concerned.

Apple/iOS- Most closed, single company OS are gone or on life support, but this is Apple. "Nuff said. FF is no threat here.

Microsoft- Yes, they do need a breakout year in 2012. But Mango looks great, and I think they have learned their lesson with WinMobile. Throw in great hardware from Nokia and HTC with a little Samsung on the side, and no worries.

RIM/BBOS- Remember that life support I mentioned earlier? Could an open source a year or two away work well here, with a still great hardware company that can't seem to get software for non-business users right?

HP/WeBOS- May end up being a Tablet/laptop/PC exclusive OS, unless HP gets someone else on-board for smartphones. HP may be thrilled just with that.

Not a lot of opportunity here, not with MeeGo dying to be picked up by someone (LG?). How do they get the foot in the door?

posted on 27 Jul 2011, 22:51

24. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Haha u forgot that apple is on its toes because Android WP7 and Meego are major threats.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 10:43

16. Laurynas (unregistered)


Now jus interesting, which smartphone manufacturers will use this Operating System on their devices.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 10:47 2

17. PhoneLuver (Posts: 467; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)


I wonder if Oracle will sue them for the same patent violations they sued Google for!

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 10:58

18. snowgator (Posts: 3233; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Man ... hadn't thought of that. Lawsuits. There is something new and exciting.

Sigh. :-(

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 14:22

20. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


omg lol, firefox trying to do OS when they can barely do a working browser? Apple's own Safari is 10x better than the **** they call a browser.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 15:09

21. DarkSide (unregistered)


The big question is, the OS for devices, like phones or tablets depends of the manufucter, so I think on nowdays Mozzilla has a few space to grow, I can´t see a big manufucter putting on risk a long-term strategy to adopt a new system. We know a system grow a lot when it is used by a large company and for a lot of users, so it´s a circle, the system depends of a big manufucter but manufucter will not adopt a system with a few support and with a non-stabilised credibility on the market.

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 20:45

22. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)


i've never really been thrilled about Mozilla's browser let alone them creating their own OS. looks like an opportunity to mimic Google but hey, i guess anything is possible. may be better than what i anticipate but at this time...my first thought is "next".

posted on 26 Jul 2011, 21:43

23. Meh222222 (unregistered)


This is just an example of a company trying to cash in on the smart phone/tablet era. Apple, Google and Microsoft have this market tight already, and RIM have made it pretty clear that they aren't ready to call it quits with their flood of new phones coming onto the market. Then you have MeeGo and WebOS trying to pull some market share through Nokia and HP. Mozilla have no chance, maybe they should put their efforts into playing catch-up in the browser department and then take things from there in a couple of years time when the next "new" product comes onto the market.. I mean Apple and Google haven't had a huge impact with their TV products, maybe Mozilla should give that a shot.

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