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Mozilla Partners Up With LG To Combat Apple and Google 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the competition-is-a-good-thing dept.
MrSeb writes "At Mobile World Congress, which begins in three days, Mozilla will finally take the wraps off the Mozilla Marketplace and allow developers to submit their open web technology (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS) apps. While the Marketplace will play an important role in keeping Firefox in step with Chrome, these apps will actually play a far more important role: Boot to Gecko (B2G), Mozilla's upcoming smartphone and tablet OS, will also use the Marketplace. For B2G to succeed it must have apps, and to create apps you need developers. That's why, at MWC, according to a source close to the matter, Mozilla will also be announcing that it has partnered up with LG to make a developer-oriented B2G-powered mobile device. Even more interestingly, Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer, says that it will unveil other partners at MWC as well — probably carriers, who are eager to use the open B2G and its Marketplace to escape the huge control that Apple and Google currently exert in the smartphone space."
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Mozilla Partners Up With LG To Combat Apple and Google

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  • by cyfer2000 (548592) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:24AM (#39147701) Journal

    Dear Mozilla,

    I have been a tester from mozilla M18.

    I hope this is true opensource and a good product.

    Sincerely,

    • by poetmatt (793785) on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:22AM (#39148481) Journal

      I hope it makes sense and is well done. I guess the sign of it becoming real is when google applauds it at the same time as apple/microsoft sue Mozilla. So, 6 months? Again, how it is designed is going to be important. Anyone can clone the whole smartphone layout as it exists but they're going to need to do something *different* for it to be worthwhile.

      I should also point out that apple and google are considered competition, but Microsoft is not (as microsoft is not relevant in the smartphone market). Quite a telling point.

      • by tobiasly (524456)

        I hope it makes sense and is well done. I guess the sign of it becoming real is when google applauds it at the same time as apple/microsoft sue Mozilla.

        Google probably will applaud it publicly but this is absolutely a big threat to Android. Google has been paying lip service to "open" claims for a long time while Android becomes more & more proprietary. It has never been developed in the open, which has been a sticking point for many since its inception.

        So now we have B2G and WebOS, two truly open OSes

        • Google probably will applaud it publicly but this is absolutely a big threat to Android.

          It's mainly a big threat to hubris, arrogance and certain nascent elements of evil at Google. Hard to complain about that.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          The point of Android isn't to take over the world. It's to keep an open environment available so Google can do their business without being shut out of the lucrative mobile advertising market. It doesn't have to be huge - it's just got to be available and open enough that Google can't be shut out. By Android keeping the door open, the others must stay just barely open enough to let us have our Googly bits too.
      • Google and Apple have started the slow process of freeing us from the damn carriers' crappy closed off phones that couldn't do anything. Now I can buy a phone without some carrier's logo on it if I want and install apps or hell, make my own app! Bunch of spoiled ungrateful brats.... remember the days when you had to take some crappy phone that had a proprietary OS where you could only install the carrier's apps if at all? Now Google and Apple are oppressing us. What a joke.

  • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:27AM (#39147737) Homepage Journal
    How would one make a barcode scanner application for this platform? I was under the impression that web browsers had no standardized, widely implemented way to (ask for the user's permission to) read from the camera and microphone (if any) connected to a device.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:33AM (#39147815)

      Mozilla is building a WebAPI open standard along with B2G so you can access hardware from html / javascript. Check this out http://arewemobileyet.com/

      • Good luck decoding barcodes from images in real time with Javascript.

        • by pinkeen (1804300)
          Let's just add inline asm to JavaScript and we're good to go.

          It's just feels wrong to watch the growing fragmentation in browser-based web technologies.
    • It's called w3c. Those standards are there for a reason. unfortunately, not a lot of web browser dev don't use it 100%. That's one reason we got so many open alley in our pc's via the web browser today. I can't blame them 100% but theres a small percentage that goes to them of course. Theres also the fact that the bigger the code you got, the bigger holes you MIGHT have.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's called w3c.

        Excellent. So after about twenty years of political bickering and bureaucratic deadlock, we'll have a half-written standard for camera access whose capabilities will be twenty-five years out of date to what everyone will be actually using at the time and won't be adopted by anyone but the most frothing and hardcore of open-source zealots who will be in a constant state of bewilderment as to why nobody wants to adopt this new "standard"? I can't wait!

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:42AM (#39147935) Homepage

      Flash can do that and more. Maybe HTML5?

      Oh yay, another market place. Just what I wanted. Apps for my apps. Or apps for the plugins of my apps.

    • by jesser (77961) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:47AM (#39148001) Homepage Journal

      Device APIs are a key part of the B2G effort. Mozilla is making those APIs [mozilla.org] and getting them standardized [mozilla.org].

    • Excel has teh functionality built inside it. You can with a Windows 8 tablet with a scanner hooked into the usb port

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well.. you would have api's. manufacturer specific at first, with manufacturer specific bugs. oh wait that's where html5&css apps on mobiles have been for years.
      in this regard LG would be creating javascript api's to access those devices, just like samsung already did..

      http://developer.bada.com/help_2.0/topic/com.osp.webapireference.help/symbols/WAC.Camera.html [bada.com]

      for nokias I couldn't find a camera api off the bat(it might not exist, I don't remember seeing it anyhow), but this is where that would be anywa

  • Actually... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:28AM (#39147745) Journal
    Come to think of it, the 'LG XULRunner' would actually be a better-than-average name for a cellphone...
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:31AM (#39147793)

    I think a company announcing they're NOT doing a marketplace would probably get bigger headlines these days.

    • How about a marketplace that efficiently clears?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just wait until I launch my Marketplace Marketplace, where you can browse for Marketplaces through one streamlined, friendly interface.

    • I think a company announcing they're NOT doing a marketplace would probably get bigger headlines these days.

      SCO, a well-know leader in the software field, is just about to announce theirs. They only have one app so far, and it costs $699.00.

  • by uigrad_2000 (398500) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:32AM (#39147803) Homepage Journal

    I just wish I could open up a wormhole, and send this headline to the version of myself who existed 10 years ago. That would be one confused sonofa...

  • The application cache and DOM storage allow web applications written in JavaScript to be installed on a device and used offline, just like native applications. But as described here [mozilla.org], the developer can force a web application to be removed from devices:

    If an application's manifest file is removed from the server, the browser removes all application caches that use that manifest, and sends an "obsoleted" event to the applicationCache object. This sets the application cache's state to OBSOLETE.

  • How is something like B2G going to be both FOSS and yet prevent OEMs from modifying the hell out of it so it's inconsistent and incompatible with other B2G devices a la various Android?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The fuck you mean a la Android? More FUD spewing? I have more Android devices laying here than I can shake a stick at everything from an Android powered wristwatch to a tablet running ICS hooked up to a monitor with bluetooth keyboard/mouse running as a desktop replacement and they all run 99.99 percent the same applications in the same way. PLEASE FIND NEW FUD.
  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:41AM (#39147911)

    Mozilla has found another source of income in addition to Google. With LG's money, Mozilla will be able to add features that counter Chrome's increased share in the browser marketplace. I assume FirefoxOS will counter ChromeOS and webOS more than Android and iOS.

    Wether or not this adversely affects Mozilla's ability to increase user satisfaction with FireFox being used as a browser remains to be seen. I hope and wish them the best, but am concerned that they will lose focus on their core product which should be a web browser people would actually like to use (or in my case continue to use).

    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      Actually, the bookmark syncing between your desktop(s) and mobile devices is a great browser feature. Firefox navigation on Android is way superior to the stock browser, too. The only thing currently missing is Flash - it was scheduled to happen in Q1 this year. If they manage to do that, I'll use Firefox exclusively on my Android phone.

      • Flash support should arrive with version 13 if they end up shipping with the Native UI enabled as is currently the plan.
    • I disagree; ChromeOS is dead, it has been superseded by Android, particularly after the launch of the Transformer and now Chrome itself [telegraph.co.uk]. Sergey Brin had already said in 2009 that the two would likely converge at some point in the future and in my opinion, that's mostly done.

      • Okay then just WebOS.
      • I disagree; ChromeOS is dead,

        After I elliminated ChromeOS as a possible competitor, I just found that ChromeOS is being updated soon to solve a WiFi problem, Samsung is still pushing the newest Chromebook, and there are features being developed in the dev and beta branches of the OS. Apparently ChromeOS and Chrome share much of the same source code (makes sense).

        Anyway I place ChromeOS back in the arena.

    • by BZ (40346)

      Mozilla's core product should be (and is) a free and open web.

      In 2004 that meant a web browser. And perhaps more to the point, that was all Mozilla had the resources to do at the time.

      Today that's not enough. And, importantly, it's been done. Users have a pretty wide choice of web browsers. Improving Firefox is still important, but is no longer sufficient. In fact, overfocus (needed at the time due to resource constraints) on Firefox in the past has led to some of the issues that Mozilla is now facing

  • by virgnarus (1949790) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#39147957)

    Windows Phone 7 is peering through a window to watch the fight, eyes welling with tears.

  • Your tablet will be out of date

  • LG? I've owned LG phones in the past. While they were inexpensive, they were the cheapest (quality wise) phones I've ever owned, and simultaneously lacked features common on competing products. Mozilla could have made a better choice by going with pretty much any other company.
    • by wcrowe (94389)

      I have to agree with this. The last LG phone I owned was back in 2003. It was a horrible piece of crap. I was so happy to get a new phone, I took the old LG out in the back yard and smashed it to bits ala Office Space. It is the last LG product I will ever own.

      • Their LCD TVs are of high quality and affordable. Good stuff. Monitors too.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Same here. I owned exactly ONE LG product, a phone, around 2005ish. Piece of shit crashed often, the screen would display backwards or upside down, all sorts of crazy stuff like that. I sent it back under warrantee and the new one was even worse. I think they were running Windows 3.1 on it...

    • LG is what you buy when you desperately need a phone while your real phone is in for repair.

      I have heard of old people and REALLY poor people using LG phones because they're cheap. The old people don't want the gadget phones and LG makes some with big buttons. The poor people just want a phone and you couldn't just reach into the telephone recycling boxes in the past, so you bought an LG.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:25AM (#39148521)

    Um, am I right in thinking this will give carriers more control over my phone?

    From TFA, "Basically, Apple and Google have so much control over the smartphone landscape that carriers have effectively become nothing more than retailers. Worse than that, their infrastructures have been reduced to that of a dumb pipe, where it is Apple and Google who ultimately decide how the network will be used."

    I don't know about other countries, but the last thing I would ever do in the US is give a mobile carrier more control over my phone. It that is the case, I'll pass.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by supersloshy (1273442)

      That's exactly the point, but not really the way you're thinking. TFA says that Apple and Google basically control, more or less, how the phones using their OSes are used. Mozilla doesn't want to give carriers more control over your data or freedom. Rather, they want to give carriers more freedom to make something unique that can give them a potential advantage over competitors. Whether or not a carrier will use that to allow an open device is besides the point.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        going with a platform locked to html5 apps is not a path to freedom.

  • It's cute to watch a certain type of geek when he's delusional enough to think that a plan such as this will work. They don't understand the way business incentives actually work, which makes it even funnier when their predictions don't come true. ;-)
  • Look LG & Moz aren't doing this to fight some evil in the world. They are doing this because they have a product (and/or services) they want to sell. I am not saying this isn't a good thing, but this is good old fashioned competition, not a holy quest.

    • It's not about the only browser without a tablet presence trying to get a tablet presence by latching onto the last major electronics company to not have a tablet strategy?

      You're saying they have a product. I see it more as not having a product and slapping some shit together hoping what they poop out will become a product.
      • by jockm (233372)

        But again, that is Competing not Combating. I am complaining about the strange word choice. Nothing you said casts the events in a way that justifies the word.

  • Will it also save you 15% on your car insurance?

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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