Yesterday Mozilla announced Firefox OS – its new, standalone, operating system for smartphones.
Mozilla, creator of Firefox, the extremely popular web browser , hopes to revolutionize the modern operating system with Boot to Gecko, universal-platform OS primary aimed at devices such as smartphones and tablets.
First Firefox devices are expected to launch in Brazil in early 2013.
Mozilla’s hardware partners until now are ZTE and TCL, both companies known for making low-priced, entry-level hardware. The software is based entirely on HTML5 and uses Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon chips.
Some of the wireless providers that are committed to selling Firefox OS smartphones are
Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, Sprint in the United States, Telenor in Norway, Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat, Telecom Italia in Italy, Spain’s Telefónica and the Philippines’ Smart.
“Firefox Mobile OS can help us drive an HTML 5-based platform for creating lower cost smartphone options for prepaid, postpaid and wholesale customers,” Fared Adib, product chief at Sprint, said in a statement.
Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla, said : “The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use.” He continued: “The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings.”
“The line between browser and operating system is getting blurred,” Kovacs said.
The free Firefox platform will put additional pressure on Microsoft and Google because the idea behind Firefox OS is to provide cheap smartphones that will rely entirely on Web technologies. Firefox OS is based on Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, that has been in the work for some time.