Mozilla developing a mobile browser...again

Mozilla is getting back into mobile. Let's hope it does better this time.

Finally! Years ago, Mozilla looked at doing a mobile web browser (dubbed "Minimo"). I was very hopeful at the time, but nothing came of the effort. Today, however, I saw news that Mozilla is at it again. With mobile booming, it's not a moment too soon.

Given the state of mobile browsers - they all stink in my experience - the timing is perfect.

As Mozilla continues to develop Mozilla2, the second version of the platform on which Firefox is built, it will add mobile devices as a category. That means developers of Mozilla2, which is expected to be complete in early 2009, will keep mobile phones in mind as they build the new platform....

[Mozilla] didn't get more specific on a release date for the mobile browser other than to say "not before 2008." [Mozilla] also said [it] hadn't yet decided which mobile phones the browser would work on.

Well, Mozilla doesn't have to. That's the point. Let developers port the browser to their own phones. It's a perfect use of open-source development communities.

Sign me up. I'd use this in a heartbeat. My Blackberry browser stinks, and my Treo browser was no better. I've used Opera, too, and it also failed. We need a community around mobile browsing. Let's hope that's what Mozilla delivers.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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