Mozilla's Boot to Gecko mobile OS needs developer support

Mobile World Congress kicks off next week, and Mozilla is expected to finally whip the shroud away from its long awaited foray into the world of mobile, Boot to Gecko, a new cloud-based mobile OS for Web apps.

The not-for-profit is hoping to mount a serious challenge to the dominance of Android, iOS, and to a lesser expent WP7; no mean feat to take on the heavyweights where others have failed, and the project faces serious challenges. Mozilla expects it to reach the product stage at some point in Q2 this year, that's according to its own project roadmap, published here.

As a cloud-based app platform running web apps, Boot to Gecko has a running start where developers are concerned; the OS has the potential to mobilise the vast numbers of web developers out there.

In fact, Mozilla says it’s planning to announce a number of partnerships in Barcelona next week. “B2G is partnering up,” tweeted the form’s CTO Brendan Eich. “More at MWC."

It’s possible that the firm will partner with the network operators that have seen so much of their power and influence usurped by Google and Apple over recent years; companies which, as a result, have shown support for web apps.

At last year’s MWC, operators launched the Wholesale Applications Community, promoting web apps that could run on any device with a browser in an effort to put a dent in Apple’s Apps Store and Android’s Marketplace. The initiative drew support from 24 operators, including AT&T, China Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom.

It’s not unthinkable that Boot to Gecko might find support among this crowd, but as Microsoft have found with the sluggish consumer uptake of WP7, bringing quality developers on-side effectively and quickly, providing top class apps in sufficient quantities, will mark the success or failure of this project.

Expect more announcements from Mozilla at Mobile World Congress in Spain next week. We’ll be there covering the action, so stay tuned.

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