Mozilla stops developing Fennec for Windows Mobile

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Mozilla has paused development of its mobile Firefox browser Fennec for Windows Phone 7 Series devices.

Microsoft last week announced that development for the new mobile operating system would be in Silverlight or the XNA platform, which means "native applications" such as Fennec can't simply be moved from Windows Mobile 6.5 to the new system.

"While we think Windows Phone 7 looks interesting and has the potential to do well in the market, Microsoft has unfortunately decided to close off development to native applications," Stuart Parmenter, Mozilla's mobile leader, said in a blog post.

"Because of this, we won't be able to provide Firefox for Windows Phone 7 at this time," he explained. "Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Mobile 7 (not 6.5) and because we don't know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold."

Parmenter explained that Mozilla has already been getting ready for Windows Phone 7, as the open source group knew the system would be based on Windows CE 6.

"Windows CE 6 is a platform that we have been developing towards, and already run well on, leaving us well positioned to have an awesome browser on Windows Phone 7," he said.

Parmenter said all the work Mozilla has put into making the browser work for Microsoft handsets won't entirely go to waste, with much of it transferable to other platforms.

He added that while Mozilla hopes to eventually release a mobile Firefox for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's move means more time can be spend on "things that we can control", including working on products for Android and Maemo.

Take a look at our review of Firefox Mobile (Fennec) here.