While many consider the smartphone/tablet market to be a two horse race between IOS and Android, the simple truth of the matter is that these devices are still in their technological infancy and the sky is the limit. Heck, IOS’ cut and paste features still seem new and the modern incarnation of the tablet is less than three years old.
Enter Mozilla, the plucky contender that unleashed a new world of choice and competition to the web browser market with Firefox. Now Mozilla has turned it’s engineers loose on the realm of your favorite touchscreen device with Firefox OS, currently codenamed “Boot 2 Gecko” (B2G).
It may not look like it at first glance, but B2G is a revolutionary take on operating systems. Build to conform to open Web standards, Mozilla’s system will allow developers to access all of the devices capabilities using HTML5 and CSS. Yep, under Firefox OS web developers will achieve parity with traditional programmers.
Device specific versions for phones and tablets are not currently available as they are, in Mozilla’s words, “limited to our distribution of builds due to legal contracts.” However, Mozilla is releasing device emulating desktop builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux. These beta builds are being updated daily and available to everyone be they aspiring developers or curious techies looking to get their feet wet in the new OS.
Information and links for downloading and installing the desktop builds of this new OS can be found at the announcement post. More general information on the B2G “Firefox” OS is available on The Mozilla Blog.