You know what they say—imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fresh from espousing a new, quicker release cycle modeled after Chrome, Mozilla is now drawing up plans for a browser-based operating system not unlike Chrome OS.
Mozilla’s manifesto can be found here on the Mozilla wiki. The Boot to Gecko project, named after Mozilla’s browser engine, will entail “building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web.” Mozilla will apparently use Google’s open-source Android software as a base, and I’m getting the impression that compatibility with phones is in the cards. Check out Mozilla’s to-do list for the project:
- 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 prioritize the power of the system.
Now, we may not see the fruits of Mozilla’s labor for a while yet. The Wiki page explains, “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 organization has created a discussion thread for that purpose.