Similar to the idea behind Google Chrome OS, Mozilla is building its own operating system to compete with its rival. The only thing is, unlike the netbook-focused Chrome OS, Mozilla’s operating system project is being developed for mobile devices: smartphones and tablets.
Boot to Gecko(B2G), the new web-based mobile operating system, was built from the need to create a standalone system for the open web, aiming to “make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike”, said Mozilla researcher Dr. Andreas Gal, in a post blog.
Boot to Gecko OS – Initial Details:
Boot to Gecko will partially be Android-based OS, is founded on Gecko technologies and has the engine of Mozilla ‘s browser layout. Android seems to be a good choice, considering that it works on multiple hardware configurations. Anyway, regardless of the used platform, this operating system seems to have the potential to change web interaction as well as to further extend beyond the mobile device area.
The B2G project would likely take years to complete and will require effort and work in several areas. It took Google more than two years to bring Chrome OS. Firstly, the developers would need to work with the primary functions of a mobile device: Telephony, SMS, Camera, Bluetooth, USB, Near Field Communications(NFC); then, build new APIs for managing them.
The next step would be enabling a safe access for web pages and applications to expose its capabilities. Developers must also create apps that would prioritize the power of the system and run directly on the web and prototype the bases for an Android compatible device.
Mozilla’s goal is to “find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps, the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7,” Gal said and added that their purpose is not to have these apps running just on Firefox, but on all web browsers.
Even if the announcement was made public by Mozilla’s newsgroup, the project is still in an early stage of development, and who knows how it would actually look like? All in all, Boot to Gecko promises to improve online experience and bring along a considerable change in the way we use the web. It’s hard to predict how will look the world of OS three years from now, with Android starting to target more and more tablets and Chrome OS offering a totally new idea of what an operating system would be.