Mozilla Reportedly Planning Smartphone And App Store Move

Mozilla is reportedly close to revealing plans for its own app store to launch later this year, and is also said to be working on a smartphone that would run apps on the phone’s browser.

At least according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

Mozilla Marketplace

The report said Mozilla is expected to announce on 22 February plans for its upcoming Mozilla Marketplace, which will feature mobile applications that can run on iPhones, Android phones or Windows phones.

In addition, Mozilla’s smartphone plans are tied to its “Boot to Gecko” project, which is an effort to create a web-based mobile operating system.

In addition, the report said Mozilla could show an early prototype of its technology at the Mobile World Congress 2012 next week in Barcelona, Spain.

Mozilla’s plans would mean developers adept in standard Web technologies, such as JavaScript and HTML5, would be equipped to build apps for the Mozilla phone.

The company saw success in challenging Microsoft in the browser market with its Firefox browser. But it is yet to be seen how successful it can be in challenging iOS, Android and Windows Phone in the mobile space with a Web-based operating system.

Palm – and later HP – made a go of delivering a Web-based mobile platform with its webOS, with less than stellar results.

Web-Powered Phone

Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript, says fulfilment of the Mozilla vision may not be far off.

“Hang onto your hats; we’re moving fast,” Eich told the San Jose Mercury News.

“A few years down the road, with Web technologies continuing to evolve, you should be able to do all the beautiful games and the presentation and the tools that you see” in native mobile apps, but with a Web-powered phone.

Darryl K. Taft

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

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