The guys at Mozilla are at it again, this time they are taking on the mobile operating arena, directly challenging the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The project is still in its infancy but the group has a pretty lofty goal stating:
“We propose a project we’re calling Boot to Gecko (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web.”
“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.”
The operating system will apparently focus on tablets and mobile handsets according to Mike Shaver, the foundation’s VP of technical strategy. Now for the interesting part, Mozilla’s new OS will utilize the core drivers and kernel from Google’s Android to boot the device. In a discussion thread, the lead developers said that they choose Android over Linux because so many smartphone makers already put so much energy into the Android platform. But that is where their reuse stops apparently, as they insist that they intend to borrow as few other components from Android as possible. With all the patent battles that Google is currently fighting I would think that is probably a good idea.
This isn’t going to be easy and Mozilla recognizes that they there is a lot of work to be done including:
- New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
- Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
- Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
- Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system.
For their part they say that they will do this work in the open, release the source in real-time, and take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and track changes that come out of that process. This is a bold undertaking, let’s see what if anything comes of it.
[source link=”https://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G”]Mozilla Wiki[/source]