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23 February 2012, 10:42

Mozilla announces marketplace for open web apps

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The Mozilla Foundation is planning its own app store where developers will be able to market their HTML5 web apps. Mozilla thinks that other marketplaces are too restrictive, which, it believes, has the effect of limiting the freedom of users and developers and of inhibiting innovation.

The new marketplace will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, taking place from 27 February to 1 March. The marketplace will provide a location for developers to market device-independent apps developed using open source web technologies, such as HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. The marketplace will not open to consumers until "later this year", but according to the Mozilla blog, it will open for developer submissions from the time of the announcement in Barcelona.

Mozilla is keeping much of the detail under wraps for now, but it is promising developers "open and flexible billing options". According to Mozilla, the platform should also help substantially reduce costs for app development, versioning and maintenance and provide "an unprecedented direct connection" to customers. To this end, the Mozilla Labs Apps project has developed new programming interfaces, which it has submitted to W3C for standardisation.

A new ID system will give users control over their content and tie apps to the user, rather than, as on other marketplaces, to a device or platform. Some additional details can be found on the Mozilla wiki. Once purchased, apps should run on most HTML5-capable devices.

The announcement quotes Todd Simpson, Chief of Innovation at Mozilla, as saying: "By building the missing pieces, Mozilla is now unlocking the potential of the web to be the platform for creating and consuming content everywhere."


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