Firefox OS | Windows Central

Microsoft vs Dell

Quick comparison of the new Surface Pro and Dell's XPS 15

Windows Central Digital Offers

Break into a cybersecurity career with this $69 certification bundle!

Both great devices

Does the new Surface Pro really edge out the cheaper Surface Pro 4?

All the apps

Hey you! Don’t forget about all of Windows Central’s apps.

Microsoft mixes up Beam

Microsoft's 'Beam' service is getting a rebrand, say hi to 'Mixer'

Star Wars hits the big 4-0

Celebrate Star Wars' birthday with these great gifts!

Pro vs. Laptop

Should you buy Microsoft's Surface Pro or Surface Laptop?

Love/hate relationship

8 things you'll love about new Surface Pro – and 3 things you'll hate

Monkey see monkey do

Is Microsoft's Fluent Design a clone of Google's Material Design?

Surface FTW

Surface Pro beats iPad Pro in a tech spec comparison — by a mile

Cast your vote ...

Will you buy Microsoft's new Surface Pro? (poll)

The pinnacle of Surface

Why isn't the new Surface Pro named 'Surface Pro 5?'

Stay cool look cool

Introducing the new Windows Central 'Colors T-Shirt,' now ready to order!

Missing the future

Why Microsoft's new Surface Pro doesn't have a USB Type-C port

All new for 2017

Meet the new Microsoft Surface Pro!

Tilt and shift

New Microsoft Surface Pen: Everything you need to know

Spec showdown

Which is the best? Surface Laptop vs. Spectre x360 vs. XPS 13

What to expect when you're expecting

What to expect from Microsoft's hardware event in China this week

The grass is greener

This $500 laptop from Acer is a great alternative to the best Chromebook

Limited Fix

There's now a fix for 'WannaCry,' but it's fairly limited

< >

Pre-order: Surface Laptop | NEW Surface Pro

Firefox OS

For the last few years, Mozilla, makers of the king of indie browsers Firefox, have been working on a new mobile OS called Boot2Gekko. The OS was built around HTML5 and CSS coding tools and it tended to look very much like Android and iOS—that is it was a collection of icons laid out in a grid with some notifications.

Today, in a somewhat surprising move they announced the re-naming of the OS to Firefox OS and they intend to put it on phones next year. In a press release, the company noted that it had deals with TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE to make the hardware for new devices with carrier partners Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are all backing the initiative.

What caught our eye though was Sprint. The company who has the HTC Arrive, who claimed sales are miserable and were “thinking about” Windows Phone 8 but who were the only major US carrier to not publicly endorse it after the recent Summit.  This is the same company now throwing their hat in with Firefox OS which no one has even seen yet let alone knows what’s unique about it. Yet they can’t sign on with Microsoft and their one-two punch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Yeesh

In fairness, Firefox OS looks to be aiming for low cost handsets, the same market that Windows Phone Tango wants to grab but can't. Even Android evidently can't go as low as Firefox OS though OEMs are certainly trying (don't forget, Android licensees have to pay Microsoft to use Android). Both Google and Microsoft have publicly commented about the "$99" smartphone--referring to the cost to manufacture, not sell. Just today Microsoft reiterated the flexibility of WP8 and its ability scale up as well as down for low-cost hardware.

Early screenshots of Firefox OS

Although we have a soft-spot for the Mozilla Foundation and we think they have made the internet world a better place, we can’t help but wonder if this will go anywhere. Microsoft, with all of their money, large ecosystem, media tie-ins and strong partnership with Nokia are barely making waves. Most people have already written off RIM with Blackberry 10 and that’s a company with an established track record and valuable IP—what chance does Mozilla have with Firefox OS?

So 2013 will be an interesting year of the giants, Android and iOS with the juggernaut-in-waiting Microsoft dominating the smartphone market, while Blackberry 10, Firefox OS and Bada all fight for fourth place.

We’ll let the free market decide this one but we know where to place our bets. As for Sprint, if they don’t say something soon about Windows Phone 8 or we don’t start to hear rumblings of new WP8 devices, we seriously suggest you ditch them and look at T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T or US Cellular for your next-gen handset.

Does Mozilla have a chance for the prepaid/pay-as-you-go market or will Android and Windows Phone get there first? Should Microsoft be worried? Let us know in comments.

Source: Mozilla

More →