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27 February 2012, 16:10

Telefonica building web-centric OS with Mozilla

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Mozilla has announced that it is partnering with Telefonica to build a web-standards-based mobile operating system. The Open Web Devices (OWD) platform will be based on Mozilla's Boot2Gecko (B2G) project, which the non-profit announced last year.

B2G uses Linux and boots a Gecko-based browser which then hosts the HTML5-based applications. The browser is not Firefox – the only shared component is the Gecko rendering engine, with the UI and other elements being refined for use on a mobile device.

Development of Boot2Gecko is being supported by Adobe and Qualcomm. Earlier reports that Deutsche Telekom is joining the B2G effort were also confirmed, with the German telecommunications provider dedicating development resources to the mobile operating system.

Telefonica aims to deliver an OWD device in 2012 with initial prototypes running on Qualcomm-based chipsets. Minimum required specifications have not been revealed; Mozilla hopes the lack of the intermediate layers and direct rendering of HTML5 will reduce the power requirements to drive applications on the phone. Telefonica says it began working on the OWD concept at the start of 2011, and began collaborating with Mozilla when they announced Boot2Gecko.

At the Mobile World Congress, Mozilla gave an early preview of how a Boot2Gecko device operates, and posted a short video.

Boot2Gecko in action at MWC (note: video has no sound)


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