Mozilla Is Shutting down Firefox OS

by Eli
on 14 December 2015
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Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has announced that they are shutting down Firefox OS. The smartphone-oriented operating system has been first publicly demonstrated in February 2012, and it took another year before it was actually shipped to customers. 

The announcement was made at Mozilla’s annual developer event. The company stated that they can no longer provide a quality user experience and will put all of their focus on their core products and efforts to strengthen the company’s reputation. From its humble beginnings, Firefox OS was always designed to be a low-cost alternative to commercially developed mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS. Unlike other mobile operating systems, Firefox OS is based entirely around web applications and lacks support for native applications. 

The original strategy was to capture a large portion of the smartphone market in countries like India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. Mozilla partnered, among other manufacturers, with ZTE, which resulted in the release of ZTE Open in 2013. The smartphone was priced at just $80 and was aimed at software developers and the first generation of adopters. It didn’t take long before first critical reviews appeared. The phone’s specifications were underwhelming with its 320-by-480 resolution screen and 256 MB of RAM. Considering that more capable Android devices were and still are available for around $100, it’s no surprise that sales were not impressive. 

Mozilla’s new focus on their core products could be the much-needed turning point for the company and end to its increasing lag behind Google and Microsoft. Mozilla wants to remove Thunderbird from the community to give Firefox developers more room to breathe when designing and implementing new features. This is a very good news for both Firefox and Thunderbird as they could finally see some significant improvements in terms of their features, performance, and usability. 

The company also strives to be seen as a guardian of an open and secure web. Mozilla’s newly released content blocker, called Focus by Firefox, is designed to stop intrusive ads, analytics, social widgets, and content trackers. 

It would really seem that after a few years of mismanagement, Mozilla has finally found a steady course to follow. By positioning itself as a non-profit organization that want to make the Internet a better place, it has a great chance to capture the right kind of users that will help the company grow and prosper in the future.