When it comes to mobile operating systems, it’s usually Android and iOS that come up. They have their fanboys and fangirls who will argue to death about their merits, to be sure, but maybe it’s time to add more players in the game. Players that just might give those two a run for their money.
Come 2013, we are supposed to see the launch of devices running Mozilla’s Firefox OS, an open source operating system for smartphones and tablets. Also labeled Boot to Gecko, or B2G, Firefox OS has been in the works since 2011.
In keeping with the Mozilla spirit of openness, the idea behind Firefox OS is to provide a mobile operating system that contributes to the open web but at the same time equals the experience on other platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows. Whether or not they will achieve that, we have yet to find out.
Firefox OS also holds the distinction of having the software stack in HTML5. This only supports the open idea, and it also benefits the developer community.
Emily Price of Mashable had the fortune to actually use Firefox OS on a real phone – a Samsung Galaxy S II no less. Her verdict indicates good things for the upcoming OS: “Clean and easy to use, the OS has a familiar look while standing out in many ways against other mobile operating systems out there.”
Not all of us are lucky enough to have the chance to try out Firefox OS, there is a way to get a glimpse. While the operating system is not yet available, there is a way to experience Firefox OS, albeit on your computer. Whether you are running on Windows, Mac, or Linux, you can install the test environment and play around with it. Via the simulator, you can also access the few apps that are available in the marketplace.