Mozilla has renamed its fledgling mobile operating system Firefox OS, and has announced the support of both carriers and manufacturers. Companies committed to support the HTML5-based operating system include Sprint Nextel, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Smart, Telenor, Telecom Italia, ZTE and TCL. Telefonica plans to launch the first Firefox OS smartphones early next year in Brazil.
Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla, has been a strong proponent of the HTML5 platform as the best way to adapt Web content to mobile devices. Earlier this year, Kovacs told an audience at CTIA in New Orleans that HTML5 is the language of choice for most software developers, and is optimized for mobile apps and content. He also noted that the emergence of a more open mobile platform would prevent “one or two companies” from controlling mobile content. The Firefox OS is built using Linux, an open-source programming platform.
Mozilla says it is targeting entry-level smartphones with its Firefox OS, which was previously called “Boot to Gecko.” As the higher end of the smartphone market matures, the lower end of the market is growing the fastest. Firefox OS phones will compete with a slew of entry-level Android phones, as well as Nokia’s entry-level Windows Phones.
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