Mozilla, the company that brings us the popular FireFox web browser for desktop and mobile, has decided to bolster its portfolio by building its own open source OS called Boot to Gecko. The Boot to Gecko name comes from the Gecko rendering engine which runs in FireFox as well as the Thunderbird e-mail client and not from Gordon Gecko of Wallstreet fame(the movie).
Boot to Gecko(or B2G as the cool kids call it) will be a platform specifically made for mobile devices. It will also be open source, (which is software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed with or without modification), shared as soon as its written. Basically, much like Google’s Android OS, carriers and OEM’s would be able to modify it as they see fit. HTC does it when they add Sense atop Android as does Samsung with TouchWiz and so forth.
Now most would ask, do we need another mobile OS. What with Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, Web OS, BADA, Symbian, MeeGo, Maemo and China’s own multiple versions of Android all running around? Well, Mozilla sure seems to think so. Not only will B2G be open source, but it’ll be built on the desire to give developers the opportunity to build HTML5 web applications which will be close to native apps in functionality. Mozilla will also include small parts of Google’s Android OS in its code. And while the project is still in its infancy, Mozilla is very optimistic that B2G can make an impact. As they say, they want to, “break the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world“. And who knows, they just may be able to pull it off.