Looks like Mozilla wants to do it all alone and go the whole vertical. From browsers to version games and now looks poised to play Operating Systems giants Microsoft and Google Chrome at their own game. That both Microsoft and Chrome have had far too many battles is indeed to Mozilla advantage, as it wants to look beyond yesterday’s technologies and migrate to emerging technologies it likes to call Web Technologies. Androids is another worthy opponent that Mozilla is willing baiting as it looks to build a new platform for new device formats from mobiles upwards to good old workhorse the desktop.
Applications is what Mozilla has set its sights on and instead of waiting around for these giants to develop something suitable for Firefox and co, this Mozilla technology scaling to the next level Open source Operating Systems. The list of features is loaded some fanciful, some that will need a trick or two from pros and some so simple but highly enriching features that even product veterans will wake up to watch.
However, the question beyond feature capabilities, is Mozilla’s capability that is in question. It has to be said that Mozilla made its mark by sheer grit of its browser. Now to move away from proven competencies into unchartered waters is indeed a risk and the project developers are indeed placing a lot at stake.
This is a ‘open web’ project that calls itself the ‘Boot to Gecko’ (B2G) and is looking to build the next generation of operating system. Therefore, the goal looks to go beyond overcoming the limitations of proprietary, single vendor stacks and looks to operate on application development.
A Peek at Boot to Gecko
Mozilla is looking at Web APIs that work with cameras, USBs will support Bluetooth and will boot Android add-ons and family.
A privilege model that will prevent these capabilities being wrongfully exploited along with a low level operating system that is bootable and to keep the new system running, the selection and creation of a number of applications for exercising new system.
Android based entry-level system
However, developers want to keep android as a starting point for booting as the project is aiming at the mobile device space first. Given Android’s high presence, prototyping and scope to adapt to other platforms will increase and therefore B2G will have greater scope.
Initial discussions are happening at this thread. Some related work in this type of domain is seen in W3C Device API. However, the flaws in bit input, audio, sensors and networking hardware were exposed in the browser and does not seen a very good precedent for B2G to follow.
B2G by Mozillas will be the way forward and its ultimate goal to offer ’native-grade’ applications directly on web in addition to Firefox is path breaking and applaudable!