Mobile
Commentary
3/23/2010
06:38 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mozilla Gives Up On Windows Mobile

Today Mozilla confirmed that it has halted all development of Firefox browsers for the Windows Mobile platform. That includes Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7. Does Mozilla have a good reason?

Today Mozilla confirmed that it has halted all development of Firefox browsers for the Windows Mobile platform. That includes Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7. Does Mozilla have a good reason?More than 18 months ago, Mozilla predicted that it was going to change mobile browsing forever with versions of its Firefox browser for smartphones.

Here we are well into 2010, however, and Mozilla has yet to cough up a working 1.0 release for any of the major smartphone platforms. It demoed a 1.0 version of Fennec for the Maemo-based Nokia N900, but the N900 is pretty much the only Maemo 5 device available in the market and is beyond a niche product. Mozilla doesn't have anything beyond early alpha releases of Fennec for Android or any other platform.

Mozilla said in no uncertain terms that it won't even consider developing for Windows Phone 7 Series because of the new platforms reliance on Silverlight and XNA for runtime environments. Developers -- a.k.a. Mozilla -- doesn't like the platform because developers have no access to the native code required by Mozilla to create a Firefox browser for WP7. Given that WinMo 6.5 has been essentially end-of-lifed, Mozilla is giving up on Microsoft altogether.

Windows Phone 7 devices will launch with a mobile-optimized version of Internet Explorer 7 on them. The current Internet Explorer browser on WinMo phones is 6.

The early builds of Fennec that Mozilla demonstrated about a year ago still looks impressive, but it's disappointing the company hasn't been able to come up with a working beta or 1.0 release for any of the smartphone platforms in the market such as Android, BlackBerry OS, webOS, or S60.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.