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By 27 July 2011 | Categories: news

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Firefox maker Mozilla is working on its own “complete, standalone operating system for the open web”, which will be competing with Google’s browser-based Chrome OS that handles the operating on its Chromebook notebooks.

The company’s web OS is code-named Boot to Gecko (B2G) and will be running HTML5-applications. Mozilla will be working on the following areas with this OS:

  • New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (telephony, SMS, camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
  • Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications.
  • Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
  • Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritise the power of the system.

According to Engadget, Boot to Gecko will employ Google’s Android drivers as well as its kernel in order to boot the above-mentioned device. This is because its lead developers selected Android over a Linux stack, due to the fact that so many mobile device manufacturers are opting for this popular mobile OS and it also makes sense for them to “reuse its lower layers.”

“Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development,” the organisation stated on its wiki page. “To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include -- and in places exceed -- the capabilities of the competing stacks in question.”

“This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in our heads today, others aren’t fully explored. We’re talking about it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla -- and from people who aren’t yet part of Mozilla -- to inform and build the project we’re outlining here,” the company’s wiki post concluded.

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