Mozilla ended development of Firefox OS phones in 2015, but there was still hope for the operating system. Mozilla wanted Firefox OS to power smart TVs, tablets, routers, all-in-one PCs, and all kinds of other devices. But that’s no longer in the cards. Mozilla just announced it’s now ending all commercial development of Firefox OS.
Firefox OS powered smart TVs, and had bigger plans
If all you saw was the big news about Mozilla giving up on Firefox OS for phones, you might be surprised to hear that the commercial project was still active. But it was. In fact, Panasonic released a line of smart TVs that ran Mozilla’s operating system.
Little was heard about Mozilla’s ongoing efforts with Firefox OS, but this week’s announcement sheds some light on what’s been going on.
At the end of 2015, Mozilla decided to cease work on Firefox OS for smartphones and “pivot to connected devices.” On January 31, 2016, Mozilla transitioned the Firefox OS project to a lower-priority “Tier 3” project. For a time, only Mozilla’s Connected Devices team worked on it.Mozilla still had plans for Firefox OS. “We had ideas for other opportunities for Firefox OS, perhaps as a platform for explorations in the world of connected devices, and perhaps for continued evolution of Firefox OS TV,” reads Mozilla’s announcement. That’s why Mozilla continued developing Firefox OS 2.6. A “transition project” was even created to clean up the open source code and hand it over to the community, allowing other people to continue working on the phone operating system if they so liked. But Mozilla wasn’t going to do the work itself.