Mozilla Launches ‘Boot to Gecko’, Eyes on Mobile OS Landscape

back to gecko

Mozilla the guys behind the very popular web browser Firefox, have expand into the mobile market with their new project called “Boot to Gecko” that aims to create an alternative to Chrome OS that is based on Mozilla’s own rendering engine Gecko.B2G will be a standalone, web-based operating system, being developed for mobile devices and it will be partially Android-based.

According to Dr. Andreas Gal, researcher at Mozilla,some goals that Mozilla has defined that it will strive for (according to the MozillaWiki page):

  • New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
  • Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
  • Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
  • Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system.

Through this Project Mozilla first aims to target the primary functions of a mobile device like Phone, SMS, Contacts, Camera, E-book reader, Games first and then find a way for the web pages to communicate to them safely and securely. The aim of B2G is to get application running without the need for the browser.

Mozilla won’t be targeting native apps but will try to create native-grade apps that run directly on the web instead of only being available on certain devices.

Mozilla will use core Android Linux stack (without their Java stack and APIs) for greater support from different hardware vendors(Android has already taken over the mobile OS market), and will likely run on many more platforms that Mozilla is targeting. This strategy is quite good as this project is still in its infancy and there are even no images available yet. If the project comes to life it would be great to see how Mozilla evolves the way we deal with web browsers in our mobile devices.

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