Open Source movement has received a major jolt as Mozilla finally gives up their dream of Firefox Mobile OS. In a blog post, Mozilla developer George Roter admitted that the existing biggies in this space: Android and iOS are way too powerful to compete, and the commercial viability has evaporated from their community driven, open source OS.
He said, “Through the work of hundreds of contributors we made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS. However, as we announced in December, 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.”
As per the official release, Mozilla will no longer develop their mobile OS after version 2.6 release. However, the market place will continue to accept apps which are made in Firefox Mobile OS. They will stop accepting app somewhere in 2017.
We knew that Mozilla is struggling to keep up, as last year, they ditched $25 Firefox Smartphone, and admitted that commercial viability is becoming tougher day by day. Their plans of developing open-source, community driven OS and Smartphone costing just $25 had excited technology lovers all over the world, as they believed that democratization of knowledge is finally happening.
But it seems corporatization has won for time-being.
Mozilla’s Next Focus: Internet of Things
Mozilla has made it clear that they are lying low, just to emerge as the next disruptor very soon. As per their blog, and previous reports, Mozilla is shifting their focus from smartphone/mobile to connected devices; and their next aim is to create a massive community power Internet of Things ecosystem, using and leveraging their existing pool of resources (which includes Firefox OS).
George said, “The Connected Devices team has been testing out a new product innovation process with staff, 3 products have passed the first “gate” and many more are in the pipeline. Having multiple different product innovations in development will be the approach moving forward, and we’re hoping to open up the formal process to non-staff participation in the first half of the year.”
In fact, last year in December, Firefox had already made it clear that Internet of Things, would be their primary focus in the coming days, with special focus on data privacy and ease of communication between the connected devices.
In a blog post, they had said, “Everything is connected around us. This revolution has already started and it will be bigger than previous technology revolutions, including the mobile smartphone revolution. Internet of Things, as many call it today, will fundamentally affect all of us.”
By 2020, there would be 26 billion devices connected via Internet of Things, and the opportunity is too big to ignore. Google has already developed their own OS for IoT, which can run on 32 MB RAM, Huawei has created a light weight OS to power IoT weighing only 10 KB, and Indian Government has already launched their first ever Internet of Things Policy document, which will target $15 billion market by 2020.
We are sure that Mozilla’s decision to kill mobile OS is just a temporary bump in the road for a greater cause, and the excited community of Open Source lovers is expecting something really big from them.
Over to you, Mozilla!