Mozilla Takes New Direction With Firefox Mobile OS

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Mozilla, the company who made the Firefox browser, has put out an email recently detailing their plans to expand their new mobile effort, nicknamed the Ignite Initiative. In it, they talked about what they’ve learned from their efforts to create a $25 smartphone with their new Firefox OS, and what they plan to do with it in the future.

According to the email from Chris Beard – CEO of Mozilla – the Ignite Initiative “will focus on building a unified product experience and developer platform that exemplifies our values and the best of the Web.” With this new Firefox OS, they intend to roll out onto “unlocked Android devices” in an attempt to build their community up with early adopters. From the sound of that, we won’t be waiting too much longer for the release of this new operating system.

This comes after Mozilla’s first attempt at bringing out the Firefox OS – $25 smartphones that didn’t meet expectations – and from the tone of this email (which you can read here, courtesy of CNET) it seems as if they’ve learned from that experience and intend to take a new approach, saying that “We have not seen sufficient traction for a $25 phone, and we will not pursue all parts of the program.” The Firefox OS, and the hardware coming with it, seems like it will have a heavier focus on product quality than the cost effectiveness of its creation.

The Firefox OS is meant to mirror the same experience that those familiar with Mozilla products are going to be comfortable with, as Beard mentioned in his new pillars of design (“We have not seen sufficient traction for a $25 phone, and we will not pursue all parts of the program.”) On top of having similar branding to Firefox, this means that Mozilla intends to reflect the Firefox mission statement of cultivating a free internet, with open source assets at every corner. In the new pillars of design, Beard mentioned that “we must provide product experiences that invite users into our community from enabling people to hack and customize their phone,” and that seems like the Firefox that many users know and love.

For those who have been using Firefox for a while, Mozilla seems determined to deliver the experience you’re used to on the mobile platform. For those who have rallied behind the Firefox mission statement, the Ignite Initiative seems to be on your side. We’ll see where they take the Firefox OS in the future.

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