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Mozilla to end development for Firefox OS on smartphones in IoT shift

The arrival of Firefox 2.6 in May will mark the last release of Firefox OS supported on smartphones.
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Written by Chris Duckett on

Mozilla has decided to exit the realm of smartphone operating systems, and intends to move the focus of Firefox OS to Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Consequently, after May and its 2.6 release, there will be no Mozilla staff involved in the development of Firefox OS for use on smartphones.

"The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones," wrote Mozilla's George Rotor in a blog post.

"We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of Connected Devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT."

Rotor said that Mozilla was looking to enter the IoT space to provide open solutions and advocate for privacy and security.

At the same time, Mozilla announced it would no longer be accepting submissions for Android, Desktop, and Tablet apps in its Firefox Marketplace, and would be implementing a new product process.

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(Image: Mozilla)

One of the first three projects to clear the first gate includes Mozilla's Smart TV spin of Firefox OS used by Panasonic.

Last week, Mozilla announced it had downgraded its support of Firefox OS, with developers getting the go-ahead to safely ignore issues on the mobile operating system when committing code to other Mozilla projects.

Firefox OS will now be supported as a Tier 3 project, leaving the community around the project to fix any issues that appear.

"That other teams won't be backed out and yelled at by sheriffs for breaking b2g tests, and that the FirefoxOS team will be responsible for fixing such breakage," wrote Mozilla developer Fabrice Desré.

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