By Stephen Schenck | July 2, 2012 12:10 PM
Over the past several months, Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, first announced last year, has been building-up steam. The new operating system, built all around the idea of HTML5-based apps, has seemed to be coming more and more together, and we heard about some early plans for actually bringing smartphones running the OS to market. Today, Mozilla’s made a major announcement regarding the project, which gets a new name and sees support from a number of industry players.
If you thought that the Boot To Gecko name was a bit ungraceful, Mozilla has decided to re-brand the platform as Firefox OS. That name’s been used to describe B2G in a nutshell before, and it looks like Mozilla’s decided to stop fighting the inevitable and christen the OS after its browser.
Mozilla has demonstrated its system running on de-Android-fied Galaxy S II hardware, but that’s not how the platform will make its commercial debut. Instead, Mozilla announced today that ZTE and Alcatel will be behind the first Firefox OS hardware, built around Qualcomm Snapdragon chips (no word if we’re talking about S4s or previous-gen chips).
We’ve known that Brazil will be the first market to see the fruits of Mozilla’s efforts, and that’s reconfirmed today, with plans to introduce Firefox OS in early 2013. Beyond that, Mozilla has carriers all over the globe expressing interest in offering Firefox OS devices to their subscribers. Of special relevance to us is seeing Sprint on that list, meaning that smartphone fans in the States should eventually get a shot at Firefox OS, too. Just when that may be, though, is still unclear.