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Mozilla announces partnerships for its Gecko HTML5 phone

Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom sign on the dotted line
Tue Feb 28 2012, 14:23

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has announced its intention to build an open source smartphone operating system based on its Gecko web browser rendering engine.

Mozilla announced partnerships with Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom to create devices based on the outfit's Boot to Gecko project. The project aims to build an open source operating system where applications are coded in HTML5 and Javascript, similar to HP's WebOS.

Mozilla said it will work with Telefonica to bring devices running its operating system to market sometime this year. The devices will use applications based on the HTML5 stack and Mozilla claims it will result in high performance and low development costs.

Mozilla said in a statement, "Since the beginning, it has been our mission as an organization to develop and bring about a completely open and standards-based Web as a platform for innovation. Mozilla's latest innovations are being proposed to the W3C for standardization, helping us move the needle to advance the Web and make it a more people-centric experience for all."

Mozilla's choice of HTML5 and Javascript as application development languages is all well and good, but neither of those languages provides mid or low-level access to the hardware. For that the outfit will have to provide APIs to directly access sensors.

Although Mozilla has always promoted the use of open standards it is difficult to see how its Boot to Gecko operating system will overtake Google's effort with Android. Although Android has its developmental and licensing issues, Mozilla might have better chosen to build its application system on top of Android and other operating systems rather than try to go it alone to create yet another operating system that will have to start from scratch. µ


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