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Mozilla Exits Firefox OS Smartphone Business

From the 'one less smartphone OS' vendor files:

Mozilla's Firefox OS is no more. Mozilla is now confirming that it is firefoxending the development of its open-source Firefox OS mobile operating system.

Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Chief Legal and Business Officer at Mozilla stated:

"We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.

Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.

Well share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon."

I first started writing about FirefoxOS when it was called Boot2Gecko. The idea was sound, a mobile operating system that uses the web to deliver the web and web applications.

Unfortunately good ideas don't always turn into good business. Mozilla was not able to push FirefoxOS through the crowded mobile landscape dominated by IOS and Android at the top end. Smaller efforts like Blackberry, Windows mobile, Tizen and even Ubuntu Phone have all been trying to gain share against the Android and IOS too, but little movement occurs.

I'm somewhat surprised that Mozilla isn't sticking this out, I think there is a real market for what FirefoxOS promises. That said, Mozilla isn't abandoning mobile, just the idea of its own mobile OS. Firefox for Android continues to develop, there is now a Firefox for IOS and Mozilla even has a content blocker for Safari. Though the mobile OS dream is now dead for Mozilla, the mobile future remains.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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