Mozilla has announced its newest project – Boot to Gecko. It will be a mobile operating system powered by Gecko, the layout rendering engine which is used by Firefox and Thunderbird.
Here’s the official announcement by Andreas Gal, a Mozilla engineer.
“We propose a project we’re calling “Boot to Gecko” [http://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G] (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web. It’s going to require work in a number of areas. We will do this work in the open, we will release the source [http://github.com/andreasgal/B2G] in real-time, we will take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and we will track changes that come out of that process. We aren’t trying to have these native-grade apps just run on Firefox, we’re trying to have them run on the web.”
Unlike Android, it will be a “true” open OS with the complete source freely available. Apparently, Mozilla plans to use some parts of Android as a base for hardware compatibility and then build a new user interface, application stack and APIs based on Gecko which will run on it.
I doubt that this new effort will see much success, or even see the light of the day. There are multiple smartphone OS options now, and there is space only for a few major players at the top. In all probability, Mozilla is too late to the game.
You can check out a detailed explanation of the Mozilla Boot to Gecko project by ArsTechnica.
Here’s the official wiki – Mozilla B2G Wiki