Mozilla has reiterated its decision of shuttering the Firefox OS. The company recently made an announcement in which it said that all development associated with the OS will be stopped after the release of version 2.6.
The move isn’t really a bolt from the blue. The company had already made its intentions amply clear in December, when it said that the Firefox OS will no longer be available on new mobile phones. Today’s announcement is part of the same plan and gives a timeline for Mozilla’s departure from the field of low budget smartphones.
As per an announcement on Mozilla’s official blog,
We are announcing our plan to end-of-life support for smartphones after the Firefox OS 2.6 release. This means that Firefox OS for smartphones will no longer have staff involvement beyond May.
Also, the Mozilla Marketplace will stop accepting submissions for Android, Desktop and Tablet while all apps that do not support Firefox OS, will be removed. Although the company did say that it will keep accepting Firefox OS apps, until well into next year.
The company has put down “established competition” as one of the reasons for its departure from the niche.
The Firefox OS was built on the open source boot to gecko platform and was first demonstrated in 2012. Exactly a year later, Mozilla proclaimed that it will ship phones with the OS and that was how it all begin. The company sought to not only provide users with an alternative platform, but also hoped to break into the super low cost segment.
So, what is next, now that the company is packing up here. Well, apparently Mozilla is planning to use its resources — along with everything it learned while developing the OS — to move into a brand new sector. This time, the company has chosen an rapidly emerging niche with relatively low competition. The Internet Of Things.
We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of Connected Devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT.
The company has already started work in the direction and is testing a new product testing phase with its staff, with designs to open it for the public in the near future.
Well, the decision to quit the smartphone segment may have been wise, despite positive growth. Entrenched platforms and well established ecosystems including iOS and Android didn’t really leave much room to maneuver for a newcomer.
Meanwhile, Mozilla’s next chosen destination is the ioT. Offering tons of potential for exploration, the niche has had plenty of attention in recent days with Microsoft, Cisco and Amazon among those looking into the possibilities. So yes, Mozilla would do better to be prepared to encounter better armed competition, here as well.
However, the niche is still very new and there is quite a lot of room for an organization like Mozilla. The company did say that its experience with the Firefox OS may come in handy with setting up ioT.