27 February 2012

Boot To Gecko: Mozilla's Web Stack Based Mobile OS

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It has been a over a month since the rumblings about Boot To Gecko from Mozilla debuting in MWC 2012 were heard. They didn't disappointed and it was indeed presented officially.

Boot To Gecko is Mozilla's card in the Mobile OS wars. A Pure Web Stack based Mobile OS. Web Stack as in everything rendered by the Gecko Browser Engine being HTML5, CSS, JS, etc. 

"ChromeOS as a Smartphone OS" was my first impression of Boot To Gecko the very first time i read about it. And so it was for most of Tech Bloggers. But my second impression of the idea was"It does makes a lot of more sense for a low-end Smartphone OS proposition". With my third take being "Ok, i guess it could also be seen as the hard edge younger brother of WebOS or as the hard edge son of both ChromeOS and WebOS". 

Can it succeed?

It does can succeed and i think it could do have a modest success. The key to that is because of how cheap these smartphones can get to be. As cheap as $150 or simply free and in a cheap plan. BTG is like a new Symbian any OEM that wants to can use and push at low cost.

What is exactly competing with or against to?

Boot To Gecko is not competing for the top 3 slots of the Mobile OS ladder. That is something already clear of how it should turn out. They are in competition for the out of the podium places. Aspiring for a 4th, fighting to get into the 5th place. And in that area, they will do find plenty of competition. They got Nokia's Symbian phones as competition that are still delivering new interesting devices for developing markets. They got BadaOS 2.0 from Samsung that happens to be a like a copy of WebOS 2.0, making it somewhat related to what Boot To Gecko is no doubt going to do a lot better. And there is also Tizen. Intel third try to push out a Mobile OS. 

Boot To Gecko is on the go for the 1 billion device market in low-end that is transforming into Smartphones.Huge pie, that even if they only manage to bite a 1% off it in their 1st year. Would mean 10 million BTG mobile devices. All going for cheap.

What Is Mozilla Strategy Then?

Today, Telefonica announced that they would be interested in trying out pushing a BTG smartphone for their network. So it is clear that Carriers are the way they are going first.

Carriers can push free BTG mobiles for the cheap plans and as locked to network cheap BTG mobiles for Pay As You Go plans.

Boot To Gecko as a long term OS product

The only way it can work, no matter if it proves to be a viable and good mobile OS for low-end Smartphones. Something that the video in this post does prove as possible considering the thing is barely in beta. Is to have a platform. And as neat as "The Platform Is The Web" slogan from Mozilla sounds. That is not enough at all. Mozilla need to make sure that Web Stack geared App Development Platforms like Appcelerant and others like it support BTG. Regardless of them pushing Bespin and other Mozilla-made stuff as the way to develop for BTG. 

In the end, i don't even think BTG can aspire to a 4th place in the Smartphone OS Ladder. But the 5th is sure for the taking and that is at most what they can aspire to. Mozilla is free to prove me wrong though. 

Conclusion

Boot To Gecko is a cool,edgy and trendy new Mobile OS that sure will make Web Stack people excited and that could get to be a very good low-end Smartphone/Slate OS in the future, but that is more likely to only be a niche mobile OS, that the next big thing. If it does pans out .

One of the first Boot To Gecko Video Demos

via Mozilla Blog

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