Mozilla To Kill Firefox OS For Smartphones, Focus On Connected Devices
Mozilla has announced that it is killing the Firefox OS through which it wanted to gain a foothold into the smartphone market. The move comes after the OS failed to attract smartphone makers and couldn’t get any noticeable traction in the market.
The OS was launched three years ago. Mozilla had hoped that with the Firefox OS it would be able to challenge Apple’s iOS and Android, which dominate the market. There was also a fear that the popularity of the iOS and Android would lock Firefox browser out of the mobile ecosystem.
“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catchup, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones,” said Mozilla developer George Roter in a blog post.
“Therefore we are announcing our plan to end-of-life support for smartphones after the Firefox OS 2.6 release. This means that Firefox OS for smartphones will no longer have staff involvement beyond May,” said Roter.
Mozilla launched the first smartphones running on Firefox OS in 2014. By the end of 2015, the company launched 12 more phones across 24 countries.
The blogpost confirms that the backend support for these users will still be provided. However, there won’t be any more work on development and updates of the OS.
But that is not the end of the game for the Mozilla team, the blog post also announced the company’s plans to speed up the development of connected devices as it looks to move into the Internet of Things market.
Under the new plans, the connected devices team has already finished first stage of development on three projects including one Smart TV. The company will soon invite volunteer participation from its strong non-staff support community. However, the larger participation should open to non-Mozilla developers by the end of the first half this year.
“The tricky part of this is how to navigate volunteer involvement in the inevitable reality of projects that don’t pass gates in the development cycle being wound down quickly. If you are interested in helping design this kind of open innovation process for volunteer participation please get in touch,” said Roter.