🎁'Tis the season to support public service journalism Donate Now

Firefox: the mobile operating system

John Moe Feb 28, 2012

Android and Apple have a pretty good lock on mobile operating systems. Sure, Windows Phones exist and so do BlackBerrys but come on, if you’re really talking about a platform for smartphones and tablets, you’re talking about the big two. Mozilla thinks there’s room for another and have announced Boot To Gecko, the excruciatingly awful name of a new mobile OS. The gimmick here: it’s the web.

From CNN:

“Developers aren’t willing to rewrite all their apps for yet another proprietary system,” Brendan Eich, Mozilla’s chief technology officer, said in an interview on Monday. “That’s why there won’t be another successful custom operating system after iOS and Android. So the next logical step is to make the Web an OS.”

The growth of the highly versatile HTML5 standard means web pages are going to be able to do more than ever before, so much so that Mozilla thinks the web can do anything an app can do.

Plus, it’s versatile, says CNN:

Web apps are platform agnostic, meaning they can run on an iPhone, an Android, a BlackBerry, a Windows Phone, or, now, a Boot to Gecko device. There’s no fear of losing all of your apps if you switch phones — those apps can travel with you. And developers like Web apps, because they can write one version of the software and have it work on every device.

There are already companies reportedly interested in building for Build To Gecko* although there’s also a reeeeally good chance you never hear about this again because Mozilla just doesn’t have the dollars/muscle that Google or Apple have.

* that name! Blecch!

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.