Is the world really ready to shift from native apps to HTML5 Web apps? Probably not, at least not in North America, but developing nations may see it differently. That's the hope with Firefox OS
, a web-based operating system that's (in theory) a lot more open. Of course, one needs only look at Microsoft's battle to get Windows Phone into a place of competition to realize that gaining market share
is no easy task, which is why Mozilla will soon be handing out Firefox OS developer phones in order to bolster that.
The goal is to get app builders to build for Firefox OS, so Mozilla is sending out free Preview handsets for folks to tinker with. Here's the pitch: "When Firefox OS phones become available to consumers in select locales this summer, you’ll have an opportunity that only comes around once—a first-mover advantage in Firefox Marketplace. End users in Latin America, Eastern Europe and other launch locations will be on the lookout for playful and practical apps to install: games, tools, and utilities as well as locally relevant news, sports, travel, entertainment, review apps, and social sharing experiences. And you can build and submit them now."
Those who submit plans and see their bid accepted will receive a Geeksphone Keon -- of course, device inventory is limited, so those interested in taking advantage better more quickly.