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Firefox maker Mozilla is cooking up a mobile OS to rival Android

Mozilla, the open-source group of digital wizards behind Firefox, is planning to build a mobile operating system based on Android. It's called Boot to Gecko, or B2G for short.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read
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Mozilla, the open-source gang behind popular Web browser Firefox, is planning a new mobile operating system, the BBC reports.

The project is called Boot to Gecko, and was unveiled on the Mozilla discussion forum by developer Andreas Gal. It's going to be an open source OS, which means anyone could get it, and the plan is to build it to run on top of Android.

That means you'd be able to install B2G on any device that runs Google's open-source operating system. It could conceivably rival Google's own platform, as well as Apple's iOS, and any other mobile OS you care to point a finger at.

It won't use very much of Android, just the most basic bits of the operating system. One of the most interesting goals of the project is to take the core functions of a mobile phone, like texting, making calls or booting up the camera, and make prototype Web APIs for accessing and controlling those things.

The result could be a completely Web-based OS. The project is still very much in its infancy though, so any speculation on how this could ultimately turn out would be tricky. We'll be keeping a close eye on developments.

The B2G team is trying to find eager members of the tech community to help with the project, so if you know your way around a line of code, swing by the relevant thread in the Mozilla developer forum.

Gal says the ultimate goal is "breaking the strangehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world."

Ambitious! And we certainly wish them well, though with Apple's iOS and Google's Android platform dominating the mobile market, setting up a new operating system is becoming increasingly difficult. Just ask HP.

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