Mozilla announces Firefox OS branding for Boot to Gecko

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced plans to create its own open source mobile operating system. The name of the project was Boot to Gecko, (sometimes called Boot 2 Gecko) but details about the project have been kept under wraps. Today, Mozilla officially announced that the official name of the mobile OS will use the Firefox branding, the same as with its various web browsers.

In a press release today, Mozilla also announced that a number of wireless carriers have already announced their support for Firefox OS. They include Sprint here in the US, along with Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor.

Mozilla revealed that at least two smartphone hardware makers, TCL Communication Technology and ZTE, will build devices based on Firefox OS. Both will have versions of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor inside. The first smartphones with Firefox OS will be released in Brazil in early 2013. There is no word on when we can expect Firefox OS devices to be sold in the US or other parts of the world.

The big selling point for Firefox OS is that it is based on HTML5. All of its features, including messaging, calling, apps and more, will be based on HTML5. Mozilla states:

Due to the optimization of the platform for entry-level smartphones and the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, mobile operators will have the ability to offer richer experiences at a range of price points including at the low end of the smartphone price range, helping to drive adoption across developing markets.

Source: Mozilla | Image via Mozilla

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Mozilla's at it again, eh? That abortion of an idea, Netscape OS, was nuked back in the 90s, and now they're using essentially the same naming convention for essentially the same vision.

Well, it'll be good to see another browser-based OS around for MS to point to when someone cries their bleeding heart out about Internet Explorer being the default in Windows RT.

If hardware vendors provide the drivers and updates are forth coming from the developers of Firefox OS then it could carve out a niche for itself.

Dot Matrix said,
WebOS failed. ChromeOS failed. And now we have FirefoxOS...

webOS has sort of failed because it's lost its big company backing, Google hasn't given up on ChromeOS yet, it's failing in the same way Bing and Windows Phone are, still being worked on but hasn't gone anywhere yet with the backer playing for the long game

thealexweb said,
Google hasn't given up on ChromeOS yet

If Google and Samsung actually think anyone in their right mind would pay $449 for a Wi-Fi only Chromebook they're delirious.

.Neo said,

If Google and Samsung actually think anyone in their right mind would pay $449 for a Wi-Fi only Chromebook they're delirious.

Price atm is a bit crap tbf xD Once they move to Arm from x86 they could easily knock $50 off.

Dot Matrix said,
WebOS failed. ChromeOS failed. And now we have FirefoxOS...

When exactly did ChromeOS (Google Chrome OS) fail?
New Chromebooks are still being released (e.g. Samsung Series 5 550) as well as new Chromeboxes...

thealexweb said,

Price atm is a bit crap tbf xD Once they move to Arm from x86 they could easily knock $50 off.


I have no idea whatsoever why I would want to pay $400 for a computer that isn't able to do anything else but open a browser window.

S_Herbie said,

When exactly did ChromeOS (Google Chrome OS) fail?
New Chromebooks are still being released (e.g. Samsung Series 5 550) as well as new Chromeboxes...

How many have you seen so far in the wild? Me personally not a single on. The prices are ridiculous too for what the OS is capable of. Which is nothing beyond a browser window.

Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

Antaris said,
Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

Nice to have options and certainly one which is open source and not a coporate giant.

The Firefox browser was a great disrupted.

Antaris said,
Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

It'll use the Mozilla Marketplace, but that's a Web App Store, so it'll work on Firefox desktops and Android, too. But they're trying to get their work standardised so that their App Store and any other Web App Store will work in any Web browser.

Antaris said,
Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

People could have said that about Google Chrome when it was released; there were already quite a few well-established and popular web browsers. As it happened, Google Chrome blew the others out of the water and it is now one of the most used browsers; many would say Google Chrome is the best of the lot.

Mozilla (or someone else) could surprise us in this way with a mobile operating system. I'm hoping it's Facebook that does it, though

Calum said,

People could have said that about Google Chrome when it was released; there were already quite a few well-established and popular web browsers. As it happened, Google Chrome blew the others out of the water and is now one of the most used browsers; many would say Google Chrome is the best of the lot.

Mozilla (or someone else) could surprise us in this way with a mobile operating system. I'm hoping it's Facebook that does it, though


Only reason is the 'tech' people forcing it apon the average joe, plus ALL the software that comes with google chrome and automatically setting it as default browser too.

Ah well, to each their own, i do use Ironware ocasionally. But default chrome... gah all the info it phones home.

Shadowzz said,

Only reason is the 'tech' people forcing it apon the average joe, plus ALL the software that comes with google chrome and automatically setting it as default browser too.

Ah well, to each their own, i do use Ironware ocasionally. But default chrome... gah all the info it phones home.

You're acting like us IT folk didn't do the exact same thing for people by adding Firefox as their default browser prior to Chrome...

If my experience is any evidence of Chrome's usage growing, I think more people are giving it a try, even if they don't fully understand what a browser is. I say this as I've talked to a few older folks who hate change and sort of stumbled onto Chrome. Hell, I actually gave Chrome a second try because of this one professor going on about it.

This never really happened with Firefox, which is understandable as Google has actually advertised Chrome.

Edited by dead.cell, Jul 2 2012, 5:55pm :

Antaris said,
Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

There are literally tonnes of mobile operating systems when it comes to low-end phones, one more won't hurt. Their target market isn't the same market that buys iPhones or Galaxy phones.

What's wrong with more choice?

dead.cell said,

You're acting like us IT folk didn't do the exact same thing for people by adding Firefox as their default browser prior to Chrome...

If my experience is any evidence of Chrome's usage growing, I think more people are giving it a try, even if they don't fully understand what a browser is. I say this as I've talked to a few older folks who hate change and sort of stumbled onto Chrome. Hell, I actually gave Chrome a second try because of this one professor going on about it.

This never really happened with Firefox, which is understandable as Google has actually advertised Chrome.

What do you mean, prior to Chrome? I STILL will set Firefox as the default browser.

Darrian said,
What do you mean, prior to Chrome? I STILL will set Firefox as the default browser.

And there's nothing wrong with that!

Antaris said,
Do we really need ANOTHER mobile OS? I know competition is great and all, but that means we now have a whole new OS to get to grips with? Will we have yet another app store also?

Quite the contrary. As I've said before, why have a mobile OS, (like Android,) or a cloud OS, (like Chrome OS,) when you can have both? Both types of operating systems are the future, so I think it would make sense.

Also, as Firefox OS is based on Android, I assume you can just use the Android Market or just use the various web apps already available to us since it's a cloud OS...

MASTER260 said,
Also, as Firefox OS is based on Android, I assume you can just use the Android Market or just use the various web apps already available to us since it's a cloud OS...

Actually, it's only based on the Linux kernel. If you've heard from somewhere that it runs on Android, then it'll only be the modules required in the back-end. The Web is the platform, and it's actually a pretty powerful one. Plus, you can make apps work offline, and the built-in apps on Firefox OS will.

Is it just me or is Boot to Gecko actually a better name than Firefox OS? Sure sounds a lot more interesting.

.Neo said,
I can see it turning into "Boot the Gecko" pretty quickly on the streets.

You sir owe me a new keyboard, this one with coffee on it is now useless.

Leonick said,
Is it just me or is Boot to Gecko actually a better name than Firefox OS? Sure sounds a lot more interesting.

Personally GeckoBoot or something like that would be better, but Firefox has big brand recognition, so it's easy for them to advertise it. The biggest issue they may face is that if the OS is a failure, the Firefox brand will suffer too.