Mozilla's co-founder and former CEO Brendan Eich has been at the center of Internet development for almost 20 years.
Seth RosenblattFormer Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Any consideration of Brendan Eich's career will always take note of his short, controversial tenure as the head honcho at Mozilla, the nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser. Eich has exerted enormous influence on the Web since the 1990s, and the Internet wouldn't be the same without his contributions.
That puts it ahead of similar projects that hope to accelerate the Web, like Google's Native Client. ASM.js and Emscripten are still new, but ASM.js optimizations are already supported by Firefox and Chrome. Game developers like Unity have also signed on with ASM.js as a way to get their games running on the Web without plug-ins, add on computer programs that works in conjunction with larger applications.
His involvement was important helping to develop the Web's missing pieces, application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow Web technology to function as a mobile operating system. These include WebRTC, the real-time communications APIs for streaming video, audio, and data without a plug-in like Adobe Flash; the contacts API for managing an address book; and the notifications API for pushing notifications to the screen.
Those may sound like basic functions, but they didn't exist as options for Web developers before Mozilla began working on Firefox OS. Phones have launched in Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, and about a dozen other countries, but the real test for Firefox OS will come later this year, when Mozilla launches $25 Firefox OS smartphones in India and Indonesia.