Firefox OS for smartphones has ceased to be, says Mozilla (and Tardigrade)

Mozilla is done playing catch-up on smartphones. Instead, it’ll play catch-up in IoT

smartphones Mozilla OS
John Bernard

Mozilla Firefox OS has expired: Bereft of life, it rests in peas—we think that’s how Mozilla Corp’s “Global Marketing Director” for Firefox OS sees it it. John Bernard (Marketer of the Year, 2013) and sidekick George Roter tell us about their “substantial decisions,” which includes giving up on beating iOS and Android.

But give them some credit: They were certainly “clear and direct,” as promised. The statement wasn't veiled in the usual, spin-doctored, PR-speak.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get what they deserve. Not to mention: Tardigrades...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What’s the craic? Paul Sawers saw the writing on the wall—Mozilla to end Firefox OS smartphone support after version 2.6, no staff involvement beyond May:

Mozilla has brought further clarity to the future of Firefox OS on smartphones. ... Development will cease after the release of version 2.6.

Additionally, the Marketplace, Mozilla’s home for apps designed for devices running Firefox OS, Firefox for Android, or Firefox desktop, will stop accepting submissions. ... Firefox OS apps will still be accepted. [It] hasn’t set a date for when it will stop.

Firefox OS...struggled to gain a foothold. Only a handful of Firefox OS devices hit the market. ... Mozilla has effectively exited the smartphone realm because of competition from the likes of Apple, Google, and...Microsoft.

A nice experiment for smartphones, but it was pretty much doomed to fail.

Hang on, are you getting déjà vu? Chris Welch is, too—Mozilla outlines the end of Firefox OS on phones and looks to IoT future:

Last year, Mozilla quietly announced it was giving up. ... Today, the company has yet again confirmed the move and offered new specifics.

Many of Mozilla's community members are disappointed by the decision, but the company is resolute. ... The platform isn't entirely dead...just moving away from phones.

Still, it'll likely be some time before we hear Mozilla's full plan...but yet again it'll have to contend with competition from major players.

Brace for bad news. Mozilla’s George “clear” Roter and John “direct” Bernard draw the short straws—Firefox OS/Connected Devices Announcement:

Obviously, these decisions are substantial. ... Let us start by being very clear and direct about [them].

We will end development on Firefox OS for smartphones. ... As of March 29, 2016, Marketplace will no longer accept submissions for Android, Desktop and Tablet.

We are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the web to IoT. ... We're entering this exciting, fragmented space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions [with] data privacy and security.

We made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS. [But] the circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up. [So] we must focus our energy completely on [making] the biggest impact in IoT.

This means that Firefox OS for smartphones will no longer have staff involvement beyond May.

What does that mean for shared code? Chris Duckett doesn’t duck the question—Mozilla to end development for Firefox OS on smartphones in IoT shift:

Developers [have] the go-ahead to safely ignore issues on the mobile operating system when committing code to other Mozilla projects.

[It] will now be supported as a Tier 3 project, leaving the fix any issues.

Ugly story, bro. Dr. M. Usman Qureshi doesn’t pull his punches—Mozilla Pulls the Plug on Firefox OS for Smartphones:

Firefox OS has become a failed experiment.

Business and technology can be vicious...only the strong survive. Right now, iOS and Android dominate.

Told you so. Or so Squuiid seems to say:


They flushed foundation money down the toilet.

Everyone, except Mozilla it would seem, knew this would fail.

Leadership at Mozilla needs to change.

And Finally...

Tardigrades, water bears, moss piglets, call them what you will

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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