Mozilla Ceases Firefox OS Development, Goes Open Source

Even though Mozilla stopped developing their Firefox OS for phones in 2015, they hadn’t stopped all operations completely. They still wanted to develop the OS for tablets, smart TVs, all in one PCs etc.

Now they are going to stop developing for all sorts of devices. Mozilla is officially out.

History of Firefox OS’s Demise

In the last quarter of 2015, Mozilla stopped developing Firefox OS for smartphones. At the end of January 2016, they moved Firefox OS to low priority, making it a “Tier 3” project. Mozilla’s team worked on it for a while too.

Mozilla’s announcement mentions,

We had ideas for other opportunities for Firefox OS, perhaps as a platform for explorations in the world of connected devices, and perhaps for continued evolution of Firefox OS TV

They continued developing until Firefox OS’s version 2.6. The community was interested in developing the Firefox OS further, for Smartphones in particular. Mozilla proceeded to clear up the source code for the OS so that they can hand it over to the community as an open source project.

Open Source Mobile OS Project

This open source project was called “Boot to Gecko” or B2G. It boots up to Gecko, the web engine that powers the Firefox browser. Mozilla is now removing all traces of Firefox OS from their Gecko engine as it was getting in their way, hindering development of the Firefox browser.

We very much need to continue to evolve the underlying code that comprises Gecko, our web platform engine, as part of the ongoing development of Firefox. For the community to continue working on B2G OS they will have to maintain a code base that includes a full version of Gecko, so will need to fork Gecko and proceed with development on their own, separate branch.

Mozilla realizes that the community and the fan base had expectations tied to the Firefox OS. They also apologize that they had no other way to go about this.

In other words, bye bye Firefox OS, may you resurface again as an open source mobile OS.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Editor at ProPakistani.