Feeds

Mozilla throws 'freedom' at Microsoft, Google, Apple tanks

All the web's a platform, and the lock-down merchants merely players

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The Mozilla Foundation is coming to the rescue of Tim Berners-Lee's sanity.

The Firefox shop is this year throwing itself at walled gardens from Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft: armed with a device-neutral and API-neutral app store and a "web platform".

Mozilla's building a Marketplace for Apps that will open in June and serve web-ified apps to smartphones, tables and desktops regardless of hardware, operating system or maker.

That's the promise at least.

Announcing its 2012 roadmap, here, Mozilla said: "Through this Marketplace, developers will be able to distribute and monetize their apps. Users will be able to find, install and use their Apps across all of their devices, regardless of the underlying device/OS platforms."

Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Apple's iOS are all being targeted, although the grand Mozilla vision for how the web is being siloed can be seen here and below.

Mozilla's always subscribed to the idea of the "free" web, both from a technological and cultural perspective, and sees itself on a mission to keep things open.

Mozilla's view of the web

Mozilla's view of hardware-app-store web lock-in

When you don't own an operating system, search engine or enjoy a hardware hegemony, freedom is an easy cause to follow.

Mozilla's philosophy runs counter to the current push among tech companies, begun by Apple and amplified by Facebook, to lock people's data in to proprietary formats, behind closed walls or using proprietary links. Apple links data – both media and apps – to its own hardware, an idea monster online retailer Amazon is now following with the Kindle and which Microsoft is running to embrace with marketplaces for Windows 8 and Windows phones.

It's all so different to the 1990s view of how we thought the web should – and would – be, when all you needed was a browser and a website... and it's enough to make Tim Berners-Lee weep. Berners-Lee wrote the world's first WWW server, Httpd, and client, WorldWideWeb, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) hypertext browser/editor that ran in the NeXTStep environment.

In 2010 Berners-Lee wrote at length about how walled and proprietary web gardens such as Apple's iTunes are killing the ubiquitous web. He called for continued open standards.

Mozilla seems to buy into this. Announcing its 2012 plans this week, Mozilla said: "Mozilla believes that the web is the platform and the entire web should be your marketplace. To this end, we are building products and services across three different threads."

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.