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Mozilla's new Boot to Gecko (B2G) mobile operating system draws primarily from Chrome OS, but also is similar, in some aspects, to HP's webOS.  (Source: Mozilla)

B2G will be based on an Android kernel and drivers.  (Source: HTC Wallpapers)

Google began shipping Chrome OS "Chromebooks" last month, and is "very pleased" with its sales, thus far.  (Source: Laptop)
New operating system melds aspects of Chrome OS and webOS

If "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", Google Inc. (GOOG) must have at least one fan of its Chrome Operating System (OS) project, as the Mozilla Foundation has announced plans for an operating system that seems eerily reminiscent to the new Google concoction.

Mozilla's new OS is going to be called "Boot to Gecko", or "B2G" for short.  Gecko is the name of the layout engine found in Mozilla's popular Firefox browser.  The new OS is geared towards handsets -- though open source netbooks and budget laptops, like those of Chrome OS, may eventually be in the works as well.

The browser maker is even going to use the Android kernel and device drivers as the base of the operating system, although it intends to "use as little of Android as possible."

Mozilla research engineer Andreas Gal provides more details, revealing that the goal is to make an HTML5-driven web environment, in which web apps provide comparable functionality to traditional apps.  To that end Mozilla will be making available a set of B2G APIs -- including telephony, messaging, camera, and communications (USB, NFC and Bluetooth) -- which will allow developers to (presumably) easily create a B2G web app.

Mozilla seems quite ambitious to these ends.  Mr. Gal says that the goal of the project is to "[B]uild a complete, standalone operating system for the open web [and] break  the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world."

If Mozilla can make an easy to use environment with fully functional in-browser apps -- a goal Google is also striving towards -- the results will pay off equally in the PC world.  Mr. Gal comments that the "[Is not just] to have these native-grade apps just run on Firefox, we're trying to have them run on the web."

While Chrome OS is the most comparable project currently on the market, the operating system also draws comparisons to Hewlett-Packard Company's (HPQ) webOS, whose apps are built around internet languages like Java, XML, Flash, and HTML5.  WebOS, however, is a proprietary, close-source code.

Google has a bit of a step up on Mozilla.  Its first Chromebook -- the Samsung Series 5 -- launched earlier last month, priced at $499.  Despite the relatively high price for a netbook/webbook, the device reached #5 in online retailer Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) "Computers & Accessories" section.  Google has said it is "very pleased" with sales, though it declined to reveal exact figures.

Chrome OS, along with its open source development counterpart "Chromium OS", was announced in July 2009.  While many dismissed it as "just another Linux distribution", it was the first major Linux OS to deliver a browser-centered UI.  Unlike B2G, Google has made it clear the Chrome OS is only meant for PCs -- not tablets or handsets.



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RE: xkcd
By Miggleness on 7/26/2011 1:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

Now, main issue is going to be performance unless there would be "compiled HTML". Would be fabulous!


RE: xkcd
By Mitch101 on 7/26/2011 2:13:32 PM , Rating: 4
Great a Firefox OS. Does it still have Java memory leaks they wont fix.


RE: xkcd
By B3an on 7/26/2011 6:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm so sick of HTML5 BS. It's highly overrated and will never even replace Flash content. Infact using Adobe AIR, which is basically Flash in app form would even be more usable.

But most of all HTML5 is such a ridiculously inefficient way to make an app.
Unlike other languages where you can just use one efficient, powerful and elegant language to make an app, with HTML5 you have to use a whole bunch of cr*p - CSS, JS, HTML, XML, PHP... and just hope it all works together remotely well.
Imagine also adding other stuff like WebGL to that. What a nightmare that would be.

I'm in the business of web design and dont know a single person who is great at all these languages or can even code more than 3 or 4 of them really well.
So forget any small dev's making anything remotely good for this OS. If you think Android has tons of cheap gimmicky apps just wait until this OS starts getting "apps", not only will they perform like total sh*t they will be highly limited in capabilities and probably very buggy. It will also drain the battery faster with all the totally unnecessary possessing from all the inefficiencies.

WTF Mozilla, just W.T.F.


RE: xkcd
By SilthDraeth on 7/26/2011 8:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
There are some pretty nice looking games that run in browsers completely. ie quakelive.

I am sure it will be possible to do any number of things in the browser if one can make a 3d first person shooter run smoothly in the browser.


RE: xkcd
By Targon on 7/27/2011 10:47:02 AM , Rating: 2
Are those games written in HTML 5, or are they Flash applications via a web page? The point is that HTML 5 is clearly a good way to take care of some stuff, like animated banner advertisements and such, but more complicated apps/games may remain Flash based. There IS room for both, unless you are Apple and want to force everyone to go through the Apple App Store.


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