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Mozilla Firefox OS comes to an end, will begin life afresh in IoT space

Mozilla has stated it is pulling the plug on the Firefox OS for smartphones, with the end coming sooner than many perhaps had expected. It will be version 2.6 that the OS will have the life up to, which in other terms is the end of May before the OS drifts into oblivion. Instead, the company will be focusing more on the Internet of Things.

All of it isn’t completely unexpected though as Firefox had made it known of its intentions of exiting the smartphone operating system business last year itself. The company cited the extensive entrenchment of the Android and iOS in the smartphone segment as well as their respective app ecosystem as the reason for not pursuing with the Firefox OS.

However, Mozilla has stated they will still be entertaining Firefox OS app submission in 2017 as well, which points to the operating system to be in existence till then at least. Rather, it will just cease to operate within the realms of the smartphone. Mozilla, it seems is keeping its options open as it ventures into the IoT scene.

Chances are that Mozilla will be attempting to connect several smart devices using elements derived from the Firefox OS if not the operating system in its entirety as we know it now.

Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president of connected devices at Mozilla has dropped enough hint of just such a possibility.

“Everything is connected around us. This revolution has already started and it will be bigger than previous technology revolutions, including the mobile smartphone revolution. Internet of Things, as many call it today, will fundamentally affect all of us,” said Jaaksi in the company blog late last year.

“We will prototype this future starting right now using technologies developed as part of the Firefox OS project to give us a kick start,” he said before also adding: “We will focus on products and technologies that allow people to access and manage their world of connected devices, helping to ensure people are empowered, safe and independent.”

The Firefox OS is already present in a range of Panasonic Life+Screen 4K televisions that were launched in spring 2015.

However, Mozilla’s venture into the IoT space will be no less competitive given that other biggies such as Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft among others have already evinced active interest in this hot new emerging segment.

Firefox had earlier tied up with several carriers worldwide to offer its smartphone in the low-end segment. The move clearly didn’t work with buyers opting for high-end Android devices instead.

However, ardent fans of the Firefox OS repenting the impending demise of the operating system can still have some reprieve thanks to the efforts of Li Gong, a former Mozilla president. Gong, via his start-up Acadine Technologies intends to launch smartphones running H5OS operating system which has been based on the Firefox OS.