Rise of the Alternative Mobile Operating Systems: Mozilla FIREFOX OS


In the second chapter of our Open platform series we will take a brief overview [including VIDEO] of the evolution and the key features of Firefox OS – one of the most popular emerging mobile platforms .

Firefox OS is a Linux-based open-source operating system for mobile devices developed by Mozilla, best known for the Firefox web browser. The idea behind this OS is to provide a complete community-based system, using open standards and approaches such as HTML5 applications, JavaScript, in order to become a competition for the major players:  iOS, Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, but also to other open source systems such as Jolla’s Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Touch.

Mozilla is guided by the strong notion of becoming the alternative for the dominant smartphone OS platforms “that delivers amazing experiences to users and provides developers with the opportunity to build the apps of their dreams, while putting power in the hands of each individual”.

Looking back at the evolution of Firefox OS it was a hectic few years in which a vision has been transformed into reality. From the first screenshots that appeared in 2012, through the 2013 launch of the ZTE devices with Firefox OS in Spain by Telefonica, the growth has been rapid, especially in emerging markets. Firefox entered 2014 with great results: increase of the market share in Latin America, presence in 14 markets including nine in Europe, with four operators and three handset manufacturers. And the future seems to be bringing more exciting news, as announced at the Mobile World Congress, just 2 weeks ago in Barcelona, by Jay Sullivan, Mozilla COO: the launch of a $25 Firefox OS smartphone in  partnership with Spreadtrum.

One of the most important aspects of Mozilla’s strategy is the community support and the idea of “web as a platform”. The number of Firefox developers is on the constant rise, in fact it is expected to triple over the next year, with millions of potential HTML5 developers who can participate and contribute, without the need to learn a new programming language.

With the armies of developers by their side and allies among operators, Firefox has a great stepping stone for conquering the developing markets. It will probably not satisfy the high-end users, but it has great probabilities to win the race in the low-end smartphone markets.  Even though it’s a continuous work in progress it has already set some important standards, ensuring the importance of open platforms and the Web itself –their rocket fuel on the way to the global market dominance.

We’ve also created a video demo about the overview of the Firefox OS, device and key features, check it out


Stay tuned for the next articles of the open platform series:

1)      Tizen: Samsung’s answer to Android’s domination

2)       Jolla OS: creating the mainstream alternative

3)      Ubuntu OS: will Linux on your phone challenge the establishment?