After announcing its intention to focus on IoT applications, Mozilla pulls its support for Firefox OS on smartphone devices. This means that after its 2.6 release in May, the company will no longer be involved in any Firefox Operating System projects for smartphones.
Firefox OS was able to demonstrate great versatility by being able to accommodate both regular smartphones, as well as high-definition TVs. However, with strong competition from players such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, the withdrawal is somewhat understandable.
Furthermore, by using an HTML5 foundation the developers could not design the rich and engaging consumer experience that other platforms were able to deliver. George Roter from Mozilla explains how they were not able to fully penetrate this market in a blog post, by saying:
“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones.”
Taking all these aspects into consideration, the company has decided to direct their attention towards Internet of Things applications, trying to figure out how they can create innovative and sustainable products for the future, while promoting privacy and security.
Furthermore, the Firefox Marketplace will no longer be allowing submissions for Android, Desktop and Tablet applications and they will start configuring a new product experience. Even though the company will not be developing the Firefox Operating System anymore, this does not mean that they will shut down the project all at once, since it will continue accepting Firefox OS apps until 2017.
One of the projects they are currently focused on is the Panasonic Smart TVs powered by Firefox OS, which were launched last year. In that regard, Panasonic made a joint effort with Mozilla to try and create an integrated web experience for the consumer, by allowing them to access all their preferred content, without being constrained by a particular ecosystem or brand.
In the same announcement, Mozilla revealed that they will continue to support the foxfooding program, which will focus on product innovation instead of improving the smartphone experience. A Sony Z3C foxfooding device is in talks, however the company does not have a particular design prepared just yet.
Mozilla is confident that by the end of March we will be able to know more about the specifics of the project and is encouraging the community to engage with the company’s team through their Connected Devices platform.
Image Source: Techpoint