FireFox OS Gains Traction and Major Carrier Support with Sprint

Ready or not, yet another mobile operating system is about to join the fray. Perhaps you've heard of Firefox OS, otherwise known as Boot to Gecko (B2G). Firefox OS is Mozilla's attempt to approach the mobile scene in a different way, one in which apps run in HTML5 and nothing else. Short and sweet, Mozilla wants to shake up the mobile OS scene the same way it did the browser market many years ago, and it's well on its way to doing that.

Sprint is reportedly on board to support Firefox OS, and so is Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile. The significance there is that you could very well end up seeing Firefox OS phones shipping next year, and given that apps are totally invested in HTML5, how appropriate is it that the two carriers getting on board are the only two major ones that offer unlimited data?

The first Firefox OS phones are said to launch in Brazil. Mozilla's strategy is to target the developing world where there's a demand for better feature phones, and from there, the sky's the limit.

Firefox OS
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"We see an opportunity to serve users by converting them from feature phones to inexpensive smartphones," Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich told TechWeekEurope in an interview. "The action is in the emerging market, not going up against the top end of the market in the U.S., where Android is chasing Apple."

Should Mozilla decide to take on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, one thing it has going for it is that it's based on open standards, so Mozilla isn't likely to get bogged down in patent trials.

"I do think one of our biggest benefits is in the standards process," Eich added. "W3C has a royalty-free patent protocol. Everyone has a chance to pull back their IPR or else to put it forward into the standard. When you get enough people in the standards body, you get royalty free standards."

Take a look at some of Firefox OS's screenshots and tell us what you think.