Shots fired: Mozilla's CTO says Google is as closed as Apple and Firefox OS is the only alternative


One of the few contenders in the field of smartphone operating systems, Mozilla's Firefox OS, is pretty far from being the third-largest mobile OS in the world (Windows Phone currently resides on this spot), yet it makes no bones about its largest competitors – iOS and Android. The current Chief Technology Officer at Mozilla, Andreas Gal, addressed both Cupertino and Mountain View and accused them of having a “complete lack of transparency”.
According to Mr. Gal, the dominant forces on the smartphone market are closed gardens that tell their users little to nothing about what's happening under the hood. Despite the differences, Mozilla's executive claimed that regardless of which one they choose, users have no say about the way their private information and data is being used by the software giants.


Naturally, Mozilla's executive also said that the only true alternative to Android and iOS in terms of openness is no other than the open-source Firefox OS. He did not address Microsoft and its Windows Phone in any way, but we guess that his opinion about Redmond wouldn't have been much different. Then again, Firefox OS is powering a pretty limited range of entry-level devices (such as the Alcatel One Touch Fire, ZTE Open C) at the moment, which means that Mozilla will have a really hard time convincing users about its the merits and advantages it flaunts. Then again, this could be a winning strategy for Mozilla, which can potentially establish itself as a prominent player on the entry-level market and works its way upwards. Let's see if it pays off.

Is Mozilla's Andreas Gal speaking the truth or is he just trying to promote Firefox OS? Share your opinion right below!
source: 9to5Mac

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36 Comments

1. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Maybe a truth. But that sounds very promotional statement.

18. Dastrix unregistered

When speaking of Google, his statement does make sense though because Google is primarily an advertising company... Always going for ads, no matter how bad the user experience can turn out to be.

27. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

The whole google is an advertising company is just bull shit. Google's job is to index everything and find it for you. That's it. When they do that, they also provide relevant advertising for others as well, so that everyone wins. If google didn't provide a good search engine, good email or maps, no one would use them. So don't go trotting out they don't care about "how bad the user experience" is because that's just bull shit. Using an android phone delivers no more ads to you than an ios or wp. Anyone who says otherwise is just repeating bs from apple insider nutjobs.

28. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Exactly... How about GMail has always used or used text based ads alot more than hotmail/outlook.com. text based ads....pic ads....which is worse....if you say text.....I dont what to say...

29. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Google is not a charitable institution and so is Apple and Microsoft, of course they have to find ways to earn revenue. Before, whenever I see an ad, I'm like wtf is this etc etc. But now, when an ad is served to me I'm just thankful for the free things I'm getting in return.

30. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Nope still don't like shoved ads, I rather have placed ads. Like TV, I know they coming, they are planned and they really don't elude the show. Now head over to YouTube, where a 15sec video has to play before a 5sec video. Or if it restarts bam ad. It is a mess and ajoke half the time. Do people honestly sit there through the ads? MS makes money by selling its services, not selling your services. To me that is a huge difference. I don't remember the last time my email served me an email based ad that I couldn't click off or hit, spam.

35. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

"I don't remember the last time my email served me an email based ad that I couldn't click off or hit, spam." Then you must dont use hotmail/outlook.com. Might be called Windows Live mail too...

36. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

You said it yourself, "MS makes money by selling its services". Google is a different company, they make money from ads and analytics. What do you mean shoved ads? You should know that by now when you use Google products you will be either shown ads or your personal info will be used for analytics. The ads, and personal info usage is their bread and butter. And yes I honestly sit through the ads because that's how I repay my free use of their services. Same way I watch the end credits of all good films I watched as my way of thanking the small people behind the scenes. But anyway, if you don't like it don't use it. No one is forcing anybody.

24. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I agree he may be right. All I know is I used Netscape alot more than IE and I use Firefox more than anything.

2. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I'm assuming he doesn't want any Google services on phones with Firefox OS. Good luck with that.

4. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Why? Because they can be a competitor to Android? FF OS has no market share at all and will very likely end like bada & tizen. The only competitor to Android right now is Windows Phone.And that's why they don't want to make apps for WP.

7. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

He's attacking Google for tracking people who use their services so it would follow that he doesn't want any Google services on Firefox OS.

12. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

I don't think WP is a competitor to Android. The problem is that the only fact of saying "Windows" is already has been in peoples mind. The real advantage of Firefox OS is that it can sound like a new life, new horizon to the customers.

16. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Never count MS out of the game.

15. designerfx

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

WP isn't a competitor to anyone other than themselves.

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

That's because they keep shooting themselves in the foot. Mud sling marketing campaign, removing the ability to use Google as a default search engine, Buy Nokia then start to remove their branding from their phones...

22. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Funny I can use it on mine. Must be a device thing. And yes I am running 8.1 Cyan with Dev preview. I have never lost the ability to choose bing/google. Considering in a recent test bing/google were within 1% of each other. I could care less which one I use, but since bing has points, I use bing.

32. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I believe it was only on specific markets with specific model phones, The article I read made it sound as though more phones would follow though. I've linked one of the articles about it below... http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/15/5900895/microsoft-wont-let-you-set-google-default-search-new-lumias

3. Sreddy unregistered

a very bold statement from a relatively small company to those giants there. and this is why i like firefox. Captain america stuff lol. But at the end of the day.. results speak for itself. But anyway, a nice promotional effort.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Absurd statement, but I'm still interested in what Firefox OS might eventually bring.

6. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

True statements, if you don't believe them, certainly live in a fantasy world. Howeve, they need to acquire some OEM backing, hence, market share.

8. max1c

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

lold gud 1 mozilla.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

+10 for Android being called as close. Its pseudo-open imho, we believe its open but we dont know how it woks inside, what they do with our data.

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Why do people keep confusing this? The only part of Android that's open is AOSP. The version of Android the majority of people are familiar with, Google's version of Android with Google's services including the Playstore, is not. The reason being they have proprietary apps and services which by definition cannot be open source. The problem is on both sides though. Android fanatics tout open source when referring to Google's Android, and Android detractors throw in AOSP when saying it's closed. See the distinction people.

13. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Your HO is entirely of base, just as this nimrod's statement was. Android is, and always has been, 100% open source. This is demonstrably true based on the fact that you, I, the dopey CEO of Firefox and the little boy who lives down the lane can download the source code, inspect it, modify it, redistribute it any way we choose.

14. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

If you claim you can do it than please modify and release your own version of Android that has access to GPlay, Chrome, GNow and rest of the GApps. Yes, you can use AOSP and play with it as you like, but AOSP is light years behind Android that comes preloaded on OEM devices people buy.

25. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Tell that to Amazon. They have done well with just their app store. And it still doesnt erase the fact that Android is open source, 100%. The A in AOSP is Android.... This article said ...Google is as closed as Apple...and he may have a point. If not as closed they are getting there. I will say this tho...their version of Android is still more open than alot of other companies OS's...even if they are becoming more closed.

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

With each release of android, it seems new features that people 'want' are in the closed garden of Google's version. Then again makes sense, Google is the one that 'owns' android development. From what I can see, and found interesting was this tidbit too: Camera and GPS don't work on Galaxy Nexus. Symptom: Camera and GPS don't work on Galaxy Nexus. As an example, the Camera application crashes as soon as it's launched. Cause: Those hardware peripherals require proprietary libraries that aren't available in the Android Open Source Project. Fix: None.

26. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I found this interesting from what you posted: "Cause: Those hardware peripherals require proprietary libraries" Those that dont know....thats why there was never or very limited CDMA Nexus devices. GSM is more open or the source has been given to AOSP, dont know the exact details. At the end of the day....proprietary, copyrighted, patented, whatever you wanna say....has limits.

31. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Pulled it right off the android website of known issues. Just found it odd. Never really thought that the OS would have a limit on Camera Hardware from the Nexus line. I guess makes sense, who knows.

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