Mozilla is set to enter a not-so-crowded operating system market for mobiles by launching a new OS called Firefox OS sometime this year. It is known that several big mobile carriers and mobile manufacturers are showing big support the upcoming operating system.
Work on this latest operating system began last year when Mozilla started the B2G (Boot2Gecko) project. The company aims to open another opportunity for consumers to taste a different operating system aside from the existing operating systems for mobiles today. The main difference of this new system is centers around the standards being used by Web technologies instead of the more platform-specific frameworks and tools.
Mozilla hopes that the effort to make this new operating system will complement and extend the existing Web standards with capabilities needed by mobile applications like APIs for telephony and power management.
Mobile makers led by Telefónica have committed use the Firefox OS. So far, only Telefónica has entered into a formal partnership with Mozilla to use the said OS earlier this year. Partnerships with Telenor, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, and Sprint are expected to follow.
It is expected that the very first Firefox OS phones will be made available to consumers in Brazil at the end of the year through the Vivo brand of Telefónica.
Mozilla targets markets in the developing world for their Boot2Gecko project. According to Mozilla advocate Christian Heilmann, the platform of Firefox OS is built to new phones being sold in the emerging economies to give phone users an affordable option in buying new devices centered on a more complete Web experience. The new operating system is not designed to compete against the contemporary smartphone platforms like iOS and Android. However, a foreseeable rivalry is set to take place in third world countries like India, where Android has a growing presence. The real edge of Mozilla’s Firefox OS lies in its open and inclusive nature, which is more attractive for mobile manufacturers and carriers alike.
Firefox OS has a long way to go to prove its market viability if it plans to survive against bigger rivals. So far, the positive trend of support from handset makers is an encouraging sign for Mozilla.