Mozilla puts the brakes on Firefox OS project
Mozilla announced a moment ago that it made the decision to stop offering "Firefox OS smartphones" to carrier channels.
Mozilla, best known for its Firefox web browser, revealed Firefox OS back in 2013. Core goals of the project were to deliver an open mobile operating system alternative to Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
Firefox OS handsets were launched in several markets such as South American countries but failed to gain any meaningful traction likely because it had to compete against low-cost Android and Nokia/Microsoft handsets which were backed by a better ecosystem of applications.
Ari Jaaski, Mozilla's SVP of Connected Devices told Techcrunch that there will be no more Firefox OS smartphones offered through carrier channels.
Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.
We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.
While Firefox OS seems more or less dead when it comes to smartphones, it appears as if Mozilla decided to focus on connected devices instead.
It is unclear right now what the plans are in this regard though. Will Firefox OS development continue unhindered but with the different focus, or will resources assigned to the project be pushed to other projects at least partially.
It is too early to tell but it is likely that Mozilla will reveal the new strategy rather sooner than later.
It seems that a fair bit of restructuring is going on at Mozilla. The organization announced last week that it wanted to split the Thunderbird email client off and make it an independent project instead.
While that is still being worked out, the organization reassured Thunderbird users by stating that it would make sure that the newly created project would have a solid financial backing and support.
Now comes the announcement for a new Firefox OS strategy, and one has to wonder where the drive to reorganization comes from. Mozilla had a strong financial year in 2014 and stated that things looked even better in 2015 thanks to the switch from a single global search partner (Google) to regional search partners.
I'm not sure what to make of it. Firefox OS never felt as if it would have a chance, but the dropping of Thunderbird is still something that I think is a mistake as Mozilla could put resources behind the email client once more to add features like Group Policies or a mobile client that it is sorely missing.
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