Now that Symbian’s days are numbered, RIM is struggling to recover ground with BlackBerry, and webOS continues to search for its audience, we’re starting to look at a future where we could really end up in a world with only Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 smartphones to choose from. Some of you may applaud such a development, while others would miss the decline in smartphone diversity. That’s just thinking about current mobile operating systems, though; what about future ones becoming new players? One group that could rise to take a share of the smartphone market is Mozilla, which has revealed plans to craft a mobile web-based OS built around Firefox.
Mozilla calls this initiative Boot to Gecko the engine used by Firefox. The idea is to have a mobile OS where nearly everything runs as a web app, written-up in HTML5. To do this, Mozilla would take a very basic platform based on Android (but stripping parts of it out) and give developers access to the APIs they’d need to create full-featured web apps that rival those of current systems.
B2G is just starting to come together as a project, so it’s hard to tell if this will end up something worth getting excited over. The whole thing sounds very much like a smartphone version of Chrome OS. That could end up quite powerful, but will it draw users away from the platforms they’re already familiar with?