Mozilla Launches Firefox OS 1.0 Simulator

FirefoxOS
Ironically, the in-built browser appears to be borked.

I’ve spoken of my excitement for Firefox OS before, but now Mozilla have released version 1.0 of the operating system simulator into the wild. An entirely-web-based operating system poses an enticing, compelling experience for the user; an experience known as “continuous client” because it follows you across your devices as if you were using the same system.

This is the future. In fact, the “web-based operating system” is something I am working on myself. Maybe I won’t be able to take on the might of Mozilla.org, but I think my focus is sufficiently different as to allow for them to coincide and even compete. But enough self-promotion… (for now, I’ll publish some info in January 2013)…

 

Firefox OS

Firefox OS is an operating system based on the Gecko rendering engine that powers the Firefox browser, hence the original working name of “Boot to Gecko”. 

It is very much a work in progress, the artifacts you can see in the image are not only limited to the browser, the left-to-right sliding desktops (like Android and iOS) also show similar effects when navigating through your apps:

 

Firefuxed OS

 

I hope it’s just my machine, however,  the scope for genuine value is extremely high.

 

Apps

Apps that live as HTML are always up-to-date, inherently connected and collaborative, and interoperable. The learning curve for writing HTML and JavaScript is much nicer than the learning curve for writing an app for Android (Java) or iOS (Objective C); that equates to potentially many, many more apps available for the Firefox OS platform than the incumbents. The cost to the app maker? The hosting! Although the current battles between Amazon, Google and Microsoft are making those charges less and less by the day.

Of course, it also means that there will be many, many more crap apps for Firefox OS than any other platform. Just as there are many crap websites out there on the high, unpoliced seas of the Internet.

But like Facebook, Twitter, etc., those apps that are popular, and gain traction, could be worth billions…

 

Security

There is also the question of security, when on the Internet. Do you really want to invite websites onto your phone that could be harmful? Of course not.

But the side effect of Mozilla using Gecko as an operating system, means a whole new threat surface to be investigated and hardened. Mozilla could end up with the most secure browser out there. While making a fortune on Apps sales, and perhaps hardware revenue by bringing out a Firefox phone (Firefone??) and tablet (Firetab?).

 

Please, please, please, if you have any interest in technology, keep an eye on this as it develops. It might be another flash in the pan, but it could be the start of something special…

 

 

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