Mozilla has been experimenting with an interesting idea called Boot 2 Gecko. Essentially, B2G (as it’s called) is a mobile operating system based on the Web, as opposed to what the project’s wiki calls “proprietary, single-vendor stacks”. Mozilla has something there--open Web technologies indeed increasingly provide an intriguing platform for lots of things, mobile and otherwise.
The developers on the B2G project are looking at the following areas:
- 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
The B2G project is still pretty new, but according to the project roadmap, testing has already begun and will continue through the rest of 2011. Messaging, telephony, and battery aspects of the OS are underway, and contacts, screen/power management, and settings are either on track or scheduled. Testing for more features is in the offing.
As the end of 2011 quickly approaches (Thanksgiving is in two and half weeks away, people!), a more exciting milestone for the B2G project looms: a product demo, scheduled for sometime in the first quarter of 2012. We may see an actual product as early as the second quarter of 2012.
Mark your calendars, friends; we may be seeing a viable new player in the mobile OS market soon.