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    Firefox OS - The new name for Mozilla's Boot2Gecko

    I wonder if this will be more successful than WebOS was?

    Sources: Ars Technica / Mozilla

    Several new device manufacturers and mobile carriers have lined up to support Mozilla’s mobile operating system. The software platform, which is based on Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko (B2G) project, will be called Firefox OS when it launches on handsets later this year.

    Mozilla began working on the B2G project last year, aiming to offer a truly open alternative to existing mobile operating systems. The B2G application stack and runtime environment are built around standards-based Web technologies instead of platform-specific development tools and frameworks.

    Alongside B2G, Mozilla is also working on a complementary effort to extend Web standards with capabilities that are needed by mobile applications, such as APIs for power management and telephony. Mozilla hopes to ensure that the open Web will provide a rich platform for application development that is competitive with the native stacks supplied by rival platforms.

    Telefónica became the first network operator to adopt the platform when it announced a partnership with Mozilla earlier this year. Mozilla announced several new partners today, including Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, Telecom Italia, and Telenor.

    Hardware manufacturers TCL and ZTE have committed to building the first Firefox OS devices, which will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. The very first Firefox OS phone will be available to consumers in Brazil later this year through Telefónica’s Vivo brand.


    Although modern Web standards provide a lot of rich functionality for building interactive experiences, there are still some limitations and areas where the Web’s native security model will pose challenges. The lack of support for conventional TCP sockets, for example, could make it difficult to build a traditional offline IMAP e-mail client for B2G.

    The platform will not come with a mail client when it ships on devices later this year, though users will be able to load various webmail services in a device’s Web browser. According to Heilmann, market research in Brazil has shown that text messaging (which is fully supported on the B2G platform thanks to new JavaScript APIs) is much more important than e-mail to Mozilla’s target audience in the region.

    Firefox OS is obviously a very different critter than Android and iOS, but the growing amount of enthusiasm from mobile carriers suggests that the platform may have what it takes to succeed in the developing world.

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    Firefox Phone, now with the minimum system requirement of four cores and 8gb of ram, a massive two days of runtime before it forces an upgrade.

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