Mozilla, the makers of popular Firefox browser, has begun work on a new web-based mobile operating system for tablets and mobile phones, which will be based on principles similar to Google Chrome OS for netbooks.
The new Mozilla project is known as Boot to Gecko or B2G and its goal is to build a complete, standalone operating system for the open web, said Mozilla engineer Andreas Gal in a blog post.
Gecko is the server behind the Mozilla Firefox browser and other efforts of Mozilla. Mozilla will be building B2G with Android components and Gecko as foundational technologies.
The OS will be able to utilise the hardware capabilities such as telephony, SMS, camera, USB, Bluetooth, Near Field Communications (NFC) and so on. The whole effort of Mozilla is to take advantage of Android-compatible devices, but it aims to lower the power consumption and better hardware utilisation by pushing most functions into the cloud.
Andreas says, “We want to take a bigger step now, and find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are — in every way — the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7”.
Mozilla plans to release the B2G source code in real-time and to take all successful additions to appropriate standards groups.
The idea of having a truly open source, web based operating system is brilliant as it will reduce the need to have too much of hardware capability sitting inside the phone and thereby reducing the price of the phones and tablets without reducing their features and computing ability.
The problem with these projects is the lack of cheap broadband access in countries like India, which will make it very costly to use such phones and at the same time restrict the use of such phones to major cities where 3G services are currently available.