Sunday, November 2, 2014

What Firefox OS Can Do Better

While Spider-Man's words of wisdom is true that "with great powers come great responsibility," it's also undeniable that "with great challenges come great opportunity." Having to create a new platform from scratch, Mozilla FirefoxOS is definitely facing competition from incumbents iOS and Android, with Windows Phone slowly squeezing its way through. The opportunity presented to Mozilla FirefoxOS is that they started with a clean slate, much like BeOS had the chance back in the mid-1990s.

If history is to teach you anything, the blunder BeOS made was that they kept playing on the hardware field dominated by the then incumbents, Microsoft and the Apple before the return of Steve Jobs. BeOS shifted too late to the internet appliance market, and slowly dissolved in obscurity when sold to Palm. FirefoxOS in contrast has successfully defined a hardware reference implementation, though it's not positioned to compete with iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Come to think of it, FirefoxOS is not even aiming at Blackberry's fractional market share. What does FirefoxOS bring to the table then? What does FirefoxOS stand for? Is FirefoxOS a mere hobbyist mobile platform? Most importantly: what can FirefoxOS do better?