It appears that the Mozilla Corporation has decided to trim a few of its side-projects. On Thursday, Mozilla announced to its employees that it will lay off most of its connected devices team, including Ari Jaaksi, the team's senior vice-president. Roughly fifty people will be laid off in total.
Mozilla's connected devices team had been working on a variety of projects, including a crowd-sourced air quality monitoring system, a "personal agent," and a product to assist those with a visual impairment. One of the team's highlights was a series of smart TVs released by Panasonic last year which were powered by Firefox OS.
These layoffs occur at a time when Mozilla's Firefox browser has a higher market share on desktops than Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge. Google's Chrome wears the crown, however, with a 62% market share in January 2017 compared to Firefox's 14.85%. Looking at all platforms, Firefox had a 6.75% market share in January, largely due to its near-absence from mobile platforms.
Mozilla still has a large team of roughly 1000 employees and is operating in the black, according to the most recent financial report. The company also remains ambitious about its long-term projects. In a statement, Mozilla indicated that it's moving "from a focus on launching and scaling commercial products to one focused on research and advanced development." Like many others in the industry, Mozilla sees opportunity in the Internet of Things, and is apparently focusing its attention there.