From the ‘Where’s Fennec?’ Files:
Developing a browser for mobile devices is no easy task, just ask the good people at Mozilla. Late last week, Mozilla released Firefox Mobile 1.0, but don’t run to your Apple, Android or Blackberry AppStore just yet it is only available for the Nokia N900 and its Linux-based Maemo platform.
Firefox Mobile began it’s life as a project called Fennec in 2008. Fennec itself was born out of the ashes of a previous failed Mozilla mobile effort called Minimo.
What’s different this time around is one key item as far as I’m concerned – Weave.
Mozilla Weave which just hit its own 1.0 release last week is part of Firefox Mobile 1.0 enabling users to sync their mobile and desktop browsing – that’s cool.
Unfortunately though the Maemo is not a massively popular platform like Blackberry, Apple iPhone or Nokia’s Symbian.
Firefox developers have been at work on a Windows Mobile port and there is likely an Android release coming soon as well.
What Firefox Mobile represents is a choice that smartphone users have never had before.
The challenges facing Firefox developers still remain immense as WebKit based browsers like Safari and Chrome (and a new Blackberry browser in the wings) dominate the landscape today. The 1.0 release for Maemo represent the first key step in facing that challenge.