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Mozilla is letting you try out its new mobile operating system on the computer. The test versions of the Firefox Mobile OS have been released as desktop builds that will help developers put it through its paces on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

The HTML5-based mobile platform is expected to launch in early 2013 as Firefox Mobile OS and take on the fiercely competitive smartphone market. Codenamed Boot 2 Gecko, the Firefox OS will use Open Web Standards and has the backing of leading telecom companies.

In a recent blog post, Mozilla’s Tony Chung mentioned the latest that has come out of the project, “We’ve been culturally challenged to build up an interested community of testers, but limited to our distribution of builds due to legal contracts. However, the release engineering team was able to get Daily desktop builds created and published online for anyone to play with.”

Setup instructions are available on the Gaia/Hacking site. App developers can use these nightly builds to build and check their own apps, so that they can hit the ground running when the Firefox OS is launched in 2013. Even if you are not a developer, you can participate in the project by testing it and letting the team know about bugs.

To get involved with development and testing, visit the B2G page on the MozillaWiki to get started. Feel free to come back here and tell us about your first impressions.

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Source: Dknite’s Lair

  1. susendeep dutta
    July 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I hope this will make the reach of smartphone penetration to lower price points and will be cheap to acquire too.I hope that Mozilla concentrates on UI too as it does with its browsers.

  2. Rigoberto Garcia
    July 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks Saikat. Right now I'm using safari and chrome on my iPhone to decide which will use by default. I'll also try Firefox, although not one of my favorites

    • Saikat Basu
      July 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Hey! Rigoberto, this one is an operating system. Maybe, you are looking for just a browser. Firefox does not have a version for the iPhone yet.

  3. Humza Aamir
    July 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Oh come on! Making your presence felt and showing the potential is one thing, making something innovative and genuinely different is another. To anyone who uses a smartphone or even has a mild knowledge, can easily spot the resemblance it bears to the iOS and Android. Even Google has had a tough time shredding off all the blame it got after it launched Android (and still does). This is not re-inventing the wheel, just making another one, with a different name.
    Icons, gestures, tabs and all other design ideas have already been thought of. I have similar hopes for the Tizan which Samsung is currently working on. Its not different and nothing is new. iOS is there for the posh and extravagant bunch of people, Android deals with everything else.
    Making a new smartphone OS that relies on touch is going to be as distinguishable as a pea in a row of peas. The recipe is old now. iOS and Android are the only two players that can play the match. A better utilization of time and money for Mozilla is to invest it on its web browser and other web applications.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 24, 2012 at 2:16 am

      Don't forget Windows. Every name in town wants to be on the mobile game. There's a huge market out there, Mozilla's share of the browser market is falling, thanks to Chrome and the deal which it made with Google. But the question is can Mozilla compete with the biggies? It is a non-profit organization and had $121 Million revenues last year.
      As a mobile OS, Firefox will be different. It is based on HTML5 and other open standards. The idea is to create apps that, in theory, could work on any operating system.
      Experts have said that their market is different - cheap handsets in developing and third world countries.

      • Humza Aamir
        July 24, 2012 at 7:51 am

        Windows does have a trick up its sleeve. By that I mean its totally different with its "Tiles" interface. The huge and immensely powerful backing of development framework of Microsoft cannot be underestimated.
        Yes, developers and experts do care about the standards and technology from which the new OS is going to be made or based on. But the average customer won't raise an eyebrow because they'd have just been through the same interface and environment by their iOS/Android possession.
        I'm being a bit too skeptical, but even if Windows is having a terribly hard time (Count in Nokia) with the smartphone market, what hope does Mozilla have? And as far as cheap handsets are concerned, Android deals with everything from a quad-core device to a 800 Mhz processor.
        Mozilla would surely be better off making great apps on various platforms, but as an environment and an OS, which it is being called, i have all my doubts.

        • Saikat Basu
          July 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

          I cannot help but agree with you here.

  4. pd
    July 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This is a poorly titled article. What every tech journalist is seemingly failing to note - all this consists of is a resized ordinary desktop Firefox browser running the phone's HTML interface and nothing else.

    This is hardly testing the core concept: booting to an HTML window manager/browser engine on an ARM processor.

  5. MerVzter Balacuit
    July 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    this is my first time i heard firefox building its own mobile os :) interesting,, hope this will be success like its browser .. thanks for this

  6. jamesbirtwistle
    July 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I'll have to check it out, has potential.

  7. Reuben Walker
    July 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

    That screenshot is just asking for trouble from Apple.

    • jamesbirtwistle
      July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      They make some good products but their policies are terrible.

    • pd
      July 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      If you believe that anybody can patent the concept of 20 shortcut icons on screen with a picture in the backgound then yeah. If you're like any reasonable person who thinks that concept is ludicrous, then no.

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