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Rumor: Mozilla, LG to team up on Boot2Gecko mobile phone

updated 12:30 am EST, Fri February 24, 2012

Mozilla Marketplace basis of Android alternative

Mozilla, which will be launching its own open-source app storefront in the forthcoming Firefox 13, may use this weekend's Mobile World Congress to launch a smartphone made by LG that runs its own mobile OS, known as Boot2Gecko. The new OS is truly open, as opposed to the partially-open nature of Android or the "walled garden" of iOS, and may prove attractive to carriers who have seen much of their control removed by Apple and Google.

As ExtremeTech reports, carriers used to dictate to phone makers what apps would be included on phones and how the experience would be managed. Since Apple introduced the iPhone with strict restrictions, carriers have seen both Apple and Google work to control the experience more directly, turning the carriers into little more than retailers.

Boot2Gecko, which offers a completely open OS, framework, browser and (coming this June) app market, gives control back to both carriers and that percentage of users who have the skills to customize their own version. Carriers would be completely free to customize all aspects of the software to suit their needs, creating their own apps, locking and branding their custom version of the OS as they liked.

At present, Boot2Gecko (B2G) is in a fairly primitive state, like Chrome OS but less polished. The operating system has a lot of potential for development, however, working from its Linux base with direct hardware calls via JavaScript and HTML borrowed from Firefox. The report intimates that Mozilla and LG already have several carriers, possibly including AT&T, as partners willing to pair the nascent OS with future hardware.

It's possible that LG will offer an unnamed B2G device as early as next week, but at present its likely to be limited to developer-only prototypes to help foster development. [via ExtremeTech]













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