Mozilla Looks to Destroy Current Mobile Ecosystem

by Matt Klassen on February 17, 2012

Like its giant lizard counterpart Mozilla is growing, and it’s looking to devour the entire mobile OS market. While Mozilla, the free and open-source softwareproject that works to “ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone,” is currently a tagalong in the world of mobile operating systems, attaching itself to Google’s Android platform, the ambitious long term vision of the non-profit company is to recreate the entire current mobile ecosystem, destroying everything in its path…Android included.

If OS dominance was achieved by platform name alone, the Mozilla mobile project, dubbed Boot to Gecko (B2G) would be an immediate winner, but unfortunately that’s not the case. At first blush it truly seems like B2G has no chance to capture market share or recreate any part of the current mobile segment, particularly given the current dominance of Android and iOS, the well-documented struggles of other would-be contenders like webOS and RIM’s Blackberry OS, and even the difficulties tech giant Microsoft is facing in growing its Windows Phone OS brand.

Undaunted though, the Godzilla-like mobile lizard has its sights set on Tokyo the mobile ecosystem, and its closer than many realize.

Before you write off B2G as another innovative webOS-like project destined for the mobile trash bin, Mozilla has a well-defined plan for how it fits into the current mobile OS ecosystem, a plan that would see the B2G platform fill the gaps in the current market.

As Ryan Paul of Ars Technica wrote back in August when B2G was first announced, “The current mobile landscape is heavily fragmented by the lack of interoperability between each of the siloed platforms. Mozilla says that B2G is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that the standards-based open Web has the potential to be a competitive alternative to the existing single-vendor application development stacks offered by the dominant mobile operating systems.”

So what does this all mean? The current reality of the mobile OS market is that users have to choose their camp, as each platform vendor holds proprietary control over their slice of the OS ecosystem. For developers it means that mobile apps need to be programmed individually for each platform, a R&D nightmare for those with tight budgets.

One of the foundational goals of the B2G project is to address this very issue, to address the lack of interoperability between mobile platforms by creating a new mobile web standard, one that remedies the current insufficiencies of mobile platforms (fragmentation for one) and one that would see all applications developed for B2G “eventually be able to run normally in any conventional standards-compliant Web browser.” [italics mine]

The bottom line, Mozilla’s goal is to recreate the current mobile ecosystem, to destroy the current domination of proprietary platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone in order to establish a new baseline for all mobile platforms…an ambitious project indeed. To that end, many are predicting that Mozilla will unveil the first working B2G prototype at the Mobile World Congress, along with unveiling the first of what I would guess to be many allies and financial supporters in this project.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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