Mozilla has announced plans to build an operating system which will focus on webapps on devices. The OS is said to be similar to Google Chrome OS, will support HTML5 to build apps, and is named Boot to Gecko.
Mozilla will be utilizing the capabilities of HTML5 to provide basic phone functionality, such as calls, SMS, camera access, Bluetooth, web applications through various application programming interfaces. However the project is still at a beginning stage and might take some time for development.
B2G is entirely open source and will be developed by a team of developers and the company is hoping contributors will participate in the process to help break the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over mobile devices.
Mozilla also plans to use parts of Android for hardware driver purposes and build a completely custom UI and application stack around Gecko. It will not use Android’s Java-based environment or support programming in native code. Some areas of focus will include:
- New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
- Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
- Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
- Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system.