Mozilla Firefox has officially confirmed its plans to close shop as regards its OS. This was announced in an official memo made available to the press by the company.
In Thursday’s announcement, Mozilla’s head of Core Contributors George Roter said the company is turning its attention to the Internet of Things. The move is “an intent to pivot from ‘Firefox OS’ to ‘Connected Devices’ and to a focus on exploring new product innovations in the IoT space,” a company email said.
The announcement marks the end of Firefox OS for smartphones after version 2.6 is released next May. The team will now be shuffled to “other product initiatives across Connected Devices and other Mozilla teams,” according to spokesman, per PCMag.
Meanwhile, the Connected Devices team has started running tests on a new product innovation process—three of these products have already passed the first “gate,” and “many more” are still in the offing, the company said. “Having multiple different product innovations in development will be the approach moving forward.”
“The main reason [these decisions] are being made is to ensure we are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the Web to IoT,” the company said.
However, in a separate blog post, senior vice president of Connected Ari Jaaksi Devices at the Mozilla Foundation, lamented the end of Firefox OS for smartphones.
“Our team and community made an awesome push and created an impressive platform, but the circumstances were not there for Mozilla to win in the commercial smartphone game,” Jaaksi wrote.
The good news is that all hope is not lost as users will still be able to use the existing OS stack for smart TVs and potentially other devices in the future. “Our platform is open, as always, to volunteers, contributors, and enthusiasts to improve on and submit patches for further advancement of the OS stack,” he said.
Mozilla’s decision to go into OS technology was based on the company’s decision to break the grip that both Android and iOS have on the mobile market. The company drew inspiration from its open-source component, relying on the community to help improve the operating system. Its emergence saw it announce TCL Communication Technology and ZTE as its first manufacturing partners.
If its goal was to break the grip Android and iOS operating systems have on the mobile market; it wasn’t such a huge success as the OS wasn’t a big hit among consumers—much to Mozilla’s disappointment.
Efforts at updating the OS with more exciting features didn’t work out as it never really got people excited.
“Through the work of hundreds of contributors we made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS. However, as we announced in December, 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.”
The aforementioned statement was part of the company’s announcement made on Thursday. In the same statement, the company announced its plans to “end-of-life support for smartphones after the Firefox OS 2.6 release.”