Firefox OS Bites The Dust

Mozilla has abandoned work on a Firefox operating system. The system was first developed for smartphones and then repositioned for connected devices such as smart TVs.

The Firefox OS project started back in 2011 with the idea of making a completely open mobile operating system that would make it easier for developers to make apps. In turn that was meant to make it more viable to make cheap smartphones that could access a decent range of apps, mainly targeting buyers in emerging markets. In effect, Firefox OS was a glorified browser that ran HTML5 apps.

A handful of Firefox OS phones did eventually show up and it was even possible, if you were feeling ambitious, to install it on some existing high-profile Android phones. Eventually Mozilla realized that even the low-cost handset was going to be dominated by Android and decided to repurpose the system for smart devices.

Panasonic picked up the system for a few TV sets, with the main benefits being that the interface [pictured] was relatively simple to use and customize and that it also worked as a better web browser than many smart TV sets have.

It didn’t really catch on however, and Mozilla has now officially announced it is going to stop work and lay off the staff working on the product. Mozilla says it will still explore the “internet of things” as part of its wider efforts to make the most of new technologies, but it won’t be focusing on releasing commercial products.

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