Software

Bump and grind is Mozilla's plan for future Firefox OS releases

Browser outfit plans to be steady and stimulating as it tries to score in mobile

By Simon Sharwood

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The Mozilla Foundation has formalised Firefox OS development, pledging that henceforth new versions will emerge every six months.

“To deliver upon this vision we are immediately moving to a development model where we will drive a single open source core of Firefox OS, with major releases every six months, based upon weekly sprints,” the organisation said in a blog post.

The weekly development grind will, the outfit reckoned, deliver important functionality bumps because “Each major release will strive to deliver significant user and platform value”.

Each of the new releases of the OS will be ready for you to install on Android hardware, in two ways. The adventurous among you can “flash an unlocked Android phone”. The more cautious among you may prefer the B2GDroid app.

The first version of the OS to arrive in this schedule will be version 2.5, due in November.

Mozilla promiseed “the most customisable, secure, locally relevant and empowering Firefox OS experience yet,” along with “local content, personalisation and privacy features.”

There will also be a mobile equivalent of “View Source” and “a Firefox-like extension mechanism to add to the user interface and phone capabilities.”

Apparently there are three ideas fuelling this new plan. Namely:

  1. User focus: Ensuring that we’re delivering an experience that people love through user-centred design, research and product iteration
  2. Web platform: Bringing more of Mozilla and the Open Web to people than just the Web technologies upon which our products are built
  3. Community: Rallying and fully empowering our global community of developers, designers, and more to help build the future together

Mozilla has acknowledged that its Firefox OS didn't succeed in low-end phones and signalled the Ignite strategy outlined in the bullet points and graphic above were where it's headed.

But it has a long slog ahead of it to get anywhere useful: Firefox OS is currently not even an asterisk in Netmarketshare's mobile OS market share count. And that count includes Kindle's 0.05 per cent of traffic. ®

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