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Mozilla Shutters Firefox Mobile OS Business

Published by: Betty on 9th Dec 2015 | View all blogs by Betty

Mozilla Shutters Firefox Mobile OS Business

Mozilla confirmed Tuesday that it is halting development of the Firefox Operating System, tabling nearly four years of development on a browser-based mobile operating system. "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," read an email statement from Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla's chief legal and business officer. The executive also noted that Mozilla will continue to “experiment with the user experience across connected devices”, as a way to continue the progress made with the Firefox OS.

Tech analysts expressed little surprise at Wednesday's news, noting that the Firefox OS never got any support from phone makers or mobile carriers, so its demise was inevitable. The mobile OS is dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS, with Microsoft's Windows Phone in a distant third. The market is so thoroughly dominated by those three, analysts suggest, that there's barely room for BlackBerry, which itself is barely hanging on. The Firefox OS can be traced back to 2011, when Mozilla first discussed B2G, or “Boots to Gecko” operating system. Gecko is the name of Mozilla's rendering engine, and the operating system was to be browser-based, like Google's Chrome OS. The company tried to produce low-cost phones to fill a void left by the Big 3, but Android eventually shifted downstream and began producing cheaper handsets that made Firefox phones like the ZTE Open obsolete. The product never even managed enough usage or market share to be included in industry rankings like those published by StatCounter and Net Applications.  

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