Mozilla takes aim at the mobile market

The Mozilla Foundation unveiled plans to create a mobile version of Firefox that will be available to phone manufacturers sometime in 2008.  

The company is hiring new staff and raised the mobile platform to a first class/tier-1 platform, which means developers will "make core platform decisions with mobile devices as first-class citizens."  

Mozilla recently made two new high-profile acquisitions, hiring Christian Sejersen from Openwave's mobile browser development and Brad Lassey, recruited from France Telecom R&D.  Sejersen will be responsible for creating a new R&D center that will be located in Copenhagen, Denmark, while Lassey will be able to focus solely on mobile Firefox development.

"People ask us all the time about what Mozilla's going to do about the mobile web, and I'm very excited to announce that we plan to rock it," said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla engineering VP.

Among other things, mobile Firefox will be able to run extensions and experience tabbed Internet browsing similar to traditional desktop features users now enjoy.  It remains unknown which mobile devices will feature Firefox in the future, but details will likely be released closer to a pending software launch date.

The mobile market continues to grow at an enormous rate, with billions of handhelds already available on the market.  According to numbers from last spring, Firefox has between 75 and 100 million users and now has more than 15 percent browser global market share.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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