The new Firefox OS was able to capture some of the spotlight at this year’s Mobile World Congress.  Mozilla held a press conference highlighting its Firefox OS and also outlining their vision for the future. The question is whether a Firefox OS, or any other for that matter, would be able to compete with mobile giants iOS and Android.

Firefox OS: A New Alternative for Smartphones

At first look, Firefox OS is similar to both Android and iOS. The user first views multiple apps on a screen. You can slide right or left to view other apps. The bottom of each page also has four permanent apps, including the phone, a messaging app, the camera app, and of course, the Firefox browser.  Perhaps most interestingly, Mozilla has touted their platform’s flexibility, which will allow different carriers to easily tailor the interface and develop localized services.

There is clearly interest in the concept of what a new OS could bring to the market.  The talk of new mobile operating systems at Mobile World Congress has already generated a lot of interest.  Firefox OS appears to be uniquely poised to tackle the emerging markets. They already have global partners with Deutsche Telekom, Telenor, Telefonica, and China Mobile.  Mozilla announced that while additional markets will be announced soon, the first wave of devices will be available in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

While Firefox OS is getting a lot of attention, they were not the only alternative OS at Mobile World Congress.  There were other alternative OS presentations, including those by Ubuntu and Tizen.  However, Firefox already has the power of name recognition, Firefox browser, and global support.  If you are interested in getting a Firefox OS phone, then you won’t have too long to wait.  ZTE is planning to launch a Firefox OS phone in 2013.

[Image via mozillacanada]