Firefox OS for smartphones is dead, long live Firefox OS for the IoT
Mozilla has further explained its future plans for Firefox OS as it prepares to retire the software from smartphones.
Firefox chiefs confirmed that Firefox OS will not see another new edition following the recent release of Firefox OS 2.6, and that the company will now be pushing its work into the connected space.
This means that the Internet of Things will soon see another set of competing software to help power the ever-growing number of connected devices in the world, with Firefox OS looking to build on an established number of customers in the smart TV space.
“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones,” John Bernard, director of collaboration for connected devices at Mozilla, and George Roter, head of core contributors, said in a statement to developers.
“Obviously, these decisions are substantial. The main reason they are being made is to ensure we are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the web to IoT. And let’s remember why we’re doing this: we’re entering this exciting, fragmented space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions, and for us to act as their advocates for data privacy and security.”
The men added that Mozilla currently has three unidentified products ‘past the first gate’ of internal testing, with more items set to follow soon, with the development process set to open to all before the end of the second quarter.
“Our push into the Connected Devices space will absolutely necessitate strong community support for our initiatives to be successful – and that means hacking on and testing new product innovations coming through the pipeline,” Roter added.
Mozilla had built up partnerships with a wide range of telecommunications providers to release Firefox OS-powered smartphones in countries including Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, India, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.
Telecoms companies including Telefonica, Orange, Telenor, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom and Verizon saw Firefox OS as a way to offer smartphones on low-end devices without having to turn to Google’s Android, but Mozilla struggled to compete against better-established rivals, before officially pulling the plug last December.
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