Mozilla has announced an ambitious project few hours ago to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web. It revealed preliminary plans to take the Gecko engine that drives its Firefox browser which will eventually work on mobile phones and tablets.
This new project will be called Boot to Gecko and the code will be made public in next few weeks. This OS is inspired by Google’s Chrome OS, where developers can easily build web apps and in HTML5.
According to the official announcement –
To that end, we propose a project we’re calling Boot to Gecko (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web. It’s going to require work in a number of areas.
New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system.
The post also mentioned that this project won’t use the Android SDK but instead run new and current web app APIs.
In an open forum discussion, Mozilla noted that its "starting point" is a device running Firefox for Android as its home screen, with some custom APIs thrown in. It also admitted that there is an "ultimate goal" to the project, that of "breaking the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world."