Mozilla creating Android, iOS challenger


Mozilla is working on its own mobile operating system to go up against the likes of Apple and Google.

The Firefox creator will use some of the same code as found in Android, much of it will be written from scratch, according to the BBC.

Mozilla will watch over the so-called Boot to Gecko (B2G) project, which will see a community of developers working on the mobile OS, with the source code to be released in real-time.

Gecko is the name for the rendering engine used in Firefox.

"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," the company said in a website post.

The firm admitted there is plenty of work to do, including the creation of APIs to work with all kinds of devices and operating systems.

"This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in our heads today, others aren't fully explored," the company said.

"We're talking about it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla - and from people who aren't yet part of Mozilla - to inform and build the project we're outlining here."

Mozilla wants to create a truly open technology, with no proprietary claims over it - something which researcher Andreas Gal thinks Google does not offer.

"We want to do Boot to Gecko the way we think open source should be done. In the open, from day one, for everyone to see and participate," Gal said on a discussion forum.

"Android APIs are proprietary Google sauce, not broadly accepted and adopted open web standards."

The 'open versus proprietary' battle in the mobile OS space has been keenly followed by onlookers.

In particular, people have noted the insecurities of an open system when compared to a proprietary model. There have been a number of prominent stories on Android threats, yet few on vendor-controlled platforms such as iOS.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.