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Mozilla's app Marketplace tempts HTML5 worshippers

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MWC 2012 Mozilla takes the open web to Microsoft, Google, Apple and others next week with an invitation to developers to start coding for its technology-agnostic apps store.

The Mozilla Foundation said it's using the spotlight of the mega Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to open its planned Mozilla Marketplace to developer submissions for apps built using HTML5, Javascript, CSS and similar web technologies.

Mozilla said the Marketplace will mean "write once, deploy anywhere" for web apps – "anywhere" being any HTML5-capable device or operating system.

Mozilla revealed its plans for a platform-neutral Marketplace in its roadmap for 2012, which said the store would open in June.

The Marketplace is founded on its Web Platform and Apps/WebRT that will deliver networking, layout, programming and identity and a chrome-free and browser-independent installation and runtime environment. It will use existing rendering engines such as Mozilla's Gecko and WebKit that are used by Google’s Chrome and Apple's Safari on iOS as well as on Google’s Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire browser.

Mozilla is a champion of the open web, both from a technology and philosophical perspective. In recent years, the trend – thanks to Apple – has been for web apps and data served from closed stores to the vendor’s own device or platform.

This is a problem for two reasons: it goes against the spirit of the open web, as far as Mozilla is concerned, while it also means more cost and time for developers, whose apps must be tweaked and re-worked for different platforms.

Explaining its forthcoming Marketplace, Mozilla said: “The nature of the platform will massively reduce the cost of creating, versioning and maintaining applications, enabling a truly open, standards-based web that advances opportunity and innovation for all.” ®

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