Taking on the two biggest mobile operating systems in the world, may not seem like the brightest move. RIM/Blackberry has suffered immensely since the introduction of the iPhone and then the Android operating system. Android and iOS has also sent webOS into a downward spiral, just about pushing them out of the market all together (HP says they are working on making webOS open source).
So how does Mozilla plan on taking on two giants? By using what they know best, the internet.
Mozilla is working on an operating system called “Boot to Gecko”. Even without a finished product yet, International carrier Tefonica has already committed to selling the devices. “Boot to Gecko” will ultimately booth the new devices straight to a web based operating system created and maintained by Mozilla.
More after the break
“Boot to Gecko” will be a complete operating system including Apps. Apps will function much in the same way that Firefox extensions and Google Chrome apps work. In fact “Boot to Gecko” will function similarly to the way a Chrome Book and Chrome OS function.
Mozilla has said that they’ve eliminated java and a lot of the other things that clog up the mobile web experience to optimize the experience. However, without the ability to use local processors on the phone itself, some games run slower and choppy as does video.
According to Mozilla photos and videos can be stored locally on the phone, but the video playback is handled via web so it can be slower and choppy as well. These phones are going to be very dependent on the speed of the users data connection. They are also going to be reliant on a carrier that offers a better data plan than some of the tiered plans we have in the United States.
“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.”
Phone call functions and SMS will still live on the handset itself. Mozilla feels that one of the reasons Google isn’t as open as they say they are with Android, is because they still have standards in hardware which must be met to carry the Android Market and G-Apps. With Mozilla’s operating system, there will be recommendations for optimal usage, however they will be less stringent than even Android.
Telefonica can look for devices with “Boot to Gecko” in the coming months.