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Where Is Firefox OS? 288

Posted by timothy
from the there's-no-pleasing-some-people dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft's very simple yet graceful concept raises a very big question. The way Microsoft is planning out Windows 8, developers will be able to write one HTML 5 app which will run across every Windows 8 form factor, from desktops to laptops, to ARM netbooks and tablets. Given the concept, if you remove the operating system — or at least make it transparent enough that the browser becomes the platform — then suddenly every piece of software works across every piece of hardware which raises the question that why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?"
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Where Is Firefox OS?

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  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:08PM (#36507028) Homepage

    A: Because it's a dumb idea.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      [sarcasm]I can't wait for the day that the OS is a browser and everything runs in either flash, javascript, or some proprietary plugin that is plagued with memory leaks.[/sarcasm]

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      I'm torn on that one - on the one hand I want to say that an extra layer of abstraction, wasting memory and cycles itself only to interpret code on the fly rather than taking the time to compile and optimise once per platform and be done with it, is a terrible idea. Particularly when it's designed to help move code to diverse, often lower power devices.

      On the other hand, most high-end phones now have as much processing capability and memory as a decent desktop did a decade ago, yet many of our day-to-day co

      • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:30PM (#36507286) Homepage

        It's like using a desktop computer just so you can remotely eject the CD tray and knock over a cup of water to water your plants while you're on vacation.

        Yes, you COULD do that, but it's wasteful and unnecessary. And last I checked, wasteful and unnecessary weren't the hallmarks of a "simple" design.

        • Thanks to bios boot-at-specified-time, and OS shutdown-at-specified-time, this could actually be perfectly plausible. :P

          • by vlueboy (1799360)

            I remember not-so-fondly the reason causing Windows to "power down" to a power-wasting state with a the sky/cloud banner stating that "It's now safe to shut down your computer now" back in Windows 95. Even with 98 lots of hardware was unable to shut off on its own.

            I wish some standard would unify auto power-*up* management at the BIOS level (even if Linux gets locked out of the hardware deal). I really liked how plain old Macs had a universal control area going over sleep countdowns, screensavers, powerdown

        • by dwywit (1109409)

          Well, IBM did it with the AS400 (iSeries). Double abstraction meant that application binaries compiled on the smallest box in the range could be copied to the largest box in the range, and the operating system would automatically re-compile those binaries to work with the different microcode. That's not ported, not re-written - literally copied to tape and restored on the larger box.

          It meant that hardware upgrades (as your wildly successful company expanded) weren't accompanied by the cost of re-wr

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            Now all you have to do is solve the screen real estate, colour, resolution, memory abstraction and you home and hosed. Of course you have to forget those pesky mobile phones as well.

            Reality is what you are after is an IDE that you code in one language and architecture and it writes the code for the other architecture and language types that you want to use. So a big bloaty IDE rather than M$ typical solution bloated clunky OS with half arsed solutions and a whole lot of promise with only random temporary

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        I always thought that "elegant" and "simple" were nearly synonymous. The reason code isn't elegant is, some people don't understand their tools, others don't understand machines, others don't understand the programs they are trying to write, and yet others are just plain lazy.

        I mean, if developers can't even be bothered to go back and remove their comments from the code they've written before releasing the code, that is just plain LAZY!! Why load a 12 MB executable into memory, when removing the cruft wou

        • by GCsoftware (68281)

          I don't know what the hell kind of compiler you're using to generate these crufty executables, but GCC produces the exact same binaries for source with comments vs source code without.

          Or am I missing a joke here?

        • As I understand it, comments are only retained in interpreted-code applications, but are ignored/removed when compiling an executable because the code is being 'translated' to lower-level machine language in the compiling process. So, there would be no point of removing comments from the source in the latter case, in fact it would present a project-management nightmare to have source code with zero comments when you (or, especially, someone else) has to dig in to the original source to make changes later o

        • by s4m7 (519684)

          Due to the varying level of sarcasm in your post, my detector's MoE is +/-50% so this remark may be completely irrelevant. When you're discussing compiled languages it's not customary to remove your comments, for two primary reasons.

          1. Comments help a maintainer other than the original author more quickly locate and troubleshoot problem code. This also applies to prolific coders who can't be bothered to remember what they were doing on somerandomlibrary.c three months ago.
          2. Comments are generally removed in
          • by sg_oneill (159032)

            Almost nothing is strictly interpretted these days. Almost any language I can think of thats not hard compiled at least gets reduced to bytecode , and in many cases then JIT compiled on the fly.

            Short of a bytecode compilation speed-bump, the comments won't affect a thing.

    • "Firefox would be a great operating system, if only it had a decent web browser"

    • Because I don't want an OS that only uses one of my CPU cores!!!!

    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      no one seems to be concerned with the Windows 8 part of the story.

      Are Microsoft so directionless these days that they would consider a move that makes the ENTIRE windows stack basically irrelevant?

      If people start coding for HTML5, suddenly windows is out of the picture, because the apps would run just as well on linux or mac.

      I thought the whole reason for Windows' existence was windows-specific software. If we remove that, what does windows have going for it?

      • by shaitand (626655)

        You are forgetting the extend and embrace part of the equation. Microsoft will add HTML 5 extensions and tie ins to the underlying subsystem. The result will be that they get to claim to be a completely open platform while remaining totally proprietary.

    • by melikamp (631205)
      Actually, because it's an AWESOME idea, already implemented and known as GNU/Linux.
    • by cshark (673578) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @02:18AM (#36509564)

      It has been done. The project is in Freshmeat. It was promptly started in 02 or 03 I believe, and abandoned, like most other somewhat interesting projects there. In fact, if memory serves, there may have actually been two of them around the same era. Both long dead. The reason being (as usual) that people on Freshmeat and similar sites would rather tell you how much of a dick you are for trying something interesting, than paying any attention to how novel your project is. At the time, this was revolutionary stuff. Did anyone care? No, of course not. The only time anyone cares about anything Open Source is when there's a marketing budget behind it.

      Be that as it may, the Mozilla OS project(s) I vaguely remember were true browser as a platform for desktop style gui projects, ala 'let's build a whole desktop environment in XUL' type stuff. What Microsoft is proposing is not a true browser as a platform system. Closest thing to browser as a platform that's in active development now is Chromium, which looks nothing like Windows 8. Sure, it's nice that Microsoft has finally gotten their head out of their ass with hypertext apps. This has been coming since Windows 95, though, and I'm not seeing anything really all that new in it except compatibility. But if you're going to be least bit critical about it, that's something that should have existed all along.

      I remain skeptical.

  • It's fine with me Mozilla isn't doing a "Firefox OS". They can focus more of their efforts on the core Firefox product. Besides, Google is doing a good enough job already with a browser-based OS if you ask me.
    • Why can't HTML app development be a standard library, compatible with all OS's? Well it can - the trouble comes in making the standard be compatible wth the implementations. Making it no longer a standard, and no longer able to run many apps. There's lots of libraries in that situation. Anything that became standardized across platforms would work.

      • WebKit seems to be becoming that rather quickly. Chromium/Chrome seems to be the only except that refuses to use a system-wide libwebkit and instead uses its own.
    • Re:Fine with me. (Score:4, Informative)

      by arth1 (260657) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:37PM (#36507368) Homepage Journal

      Besides, Google is doing a good enough job already with a browser-based OS if you ask me.

      Then they do it in secret labs, cause there's no such thing out in the wild. If you mean ChromeOS, that's not a browser-based OS, but a locked down Gentoo Linux that runs on a locked down file system, running a locked down display manager that runs a locked down Window manager that runs a (you guessed it: locked down) version of the Chrome browser inside it. The browser is four steps away from being an OS -- it's just another app -- the main app, but still just an app.

      Having the browser be the OS is by all means possible - if the browser contains a kernel, file system, drivers and everything else needed. But what would the point be?

    • It's fine with me Mozilla isn't doing a "Firefox OS". They can focus more of their efforts on the core Firefox product. Besides, Google is doing a good enough job already with a browser-based OS if you ask me.

      what efforts? It still doesn't scale to >1 core.

  • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:12PM (#36507068) Homepage Journal

    The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid.

    I could draw it out and make it sound pretty, but its stupid nonetheless. Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

    Operating systems and browsers are two different things.

    Now as a work environment, say a desktop interface, browsers have potential, and that's what most people mean, but even there, the security problems of dividing up what is local data and what is remote, what should be executable and what shouldn't becomes a nightmare that is easier to handle when avoided completely.

    HTML5 isn't the best way to write any application; that's why almost everyone else who's made an HTML based platform has moved to a native one after the fact. Does HTML need the features necessary to write generic applications? Certainly not. The overloading of protocols (everything as HTTP) and formats (everything as HTML/CSS) is just short sighted laziness.

    Please make it stop.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:16PM (#36507118)

      Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

      Now there's a thought.. Mozilla can wait until everyone else gets all bloated, then they can launch a new project to create a fast, lightweight standalone browser without all the bloat of their current offering.

      • Chrome was the tiny fast lightweight browser yesterday. I wonder who's next.

        • by AaxelB (1034884)
          A bit of a whoosh there: Firefox was the tiny fast lightweight browser last week [wikipedia.org] (that's the joke), before Chrome became the tiny fast lightweight browser browser yesterday. As for tomorrow, well, it'll probably be on a smartphone :)
          • by hedwards (940851)

            Firefox was, but it turns out that people actually want a complete web browser. If you don't believe me just look at Chrome, it was faster and now it's bloating up with features the way that Firefox did.

            OTOH, Opera was fast and still is fast, but AFAIK they never did bloat up with features and they're being buried by Firefox, Chrome and IE at the present time.

    • Does HTML need the features necessary to write generic applications? Certainly not.

      The HTML platform does include one killer feature: the JavaScript sandbox partly circumvents restrictions on third-party executables imposed by a device manufacturer or by the administrator of a computer that other people use. For example, Slashdot recently ran an article about a form of "3DS homebrew" [slashdot.org] consisting of JavaScript applications run in the Nintendo 3DS handheld video game system's NetFront web browser, which acts as an end-run around Nintendo's long-standing policy against software development in [wikipedia.org]

    • The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid

      At this point, "browser as an OS" is actually already meaningless. It's just using JS as a programming language, and HTML5 as an UI framework.

      HTML5 isn't the best way to write any application; that's why almost everyone else who's made an HTML based platform has moved to a native one after the fact.

      I'm aware of two HTML-only platforms: early iOS, and early webOS. So far as I know, only iOS truly "went native" - on webOS you get NDK for apps such as games, but if you want any UI it still has to be HTML.

      Now, one thing to remember about iOS is that, back when it came out, HTML5 was still early in development, and JS was not yet optimized anywhere near as good as it

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Monday June 20, 2011 @09:07PM (#36508102)

      The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid.

      [...] Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

      The whole point of the "browser is an OS" is not to "encompass all possible generic operating system needs". The idea is that most of those needs will be handled by a "the cloud". Most of the time, when Microsoft or an IT manager talks about it, that doesn't mean anything sensible. However, when Google talks about it, it really means

      • You aren't going to have to do file storage because your named objects are going to be stored in the cloud server and just cached locally
      • You aren't going to have to do much computing because most of that will be handled by Google's servers
      • You aren't going to have to think about application security because that will be handled by Google's
      • You aren't going to have to control privacy and data flow because Google will do it for you.
      • You aren't going to have to handle user management because Google will do that for you.
      • You aren't going to have to handle setting up a file server/ file sharing because that will be done already, by Google
      • etc.

      If that list scares you, then it should. Basically what you are saying here is that when you move to a "Browser is the OS set up" what you are actually moving to is a "Google is your administrator and your system and all applications are controlled by them set up". You had better hope they are nice http://www.theregister.co.uk/odds/bofh/ [slashdot.org]>operators

      Operating systems and browsers are two different things.

      You are answering the wrong question here. The question isn't "should I build these things separately". The question is, "should the user have any understanding of the underlying operating system, and if so, do I need any more interface to it than a web browser can provide?" The Google answer is "no". Fundamentally, you as a naive user, surrender everything to Google. Your so the OS is still there, just the user doesn't have to worry about what it does or how it works.

      HTML5 isn't the best way to write any application; that's why almost everyone else who's made an HTML based platform has moved to a native one after the fact.

      Given that nobody has fully implemented it ye very few of the people who used HTML used HTML 5, so that comparison isn't yet made. Probably we should come back to that ten years from now to get the proper empirical data. However, every potential alternative platform has problems:

      Windows binary
      no simple way to install applications; user need to download, install, approve etc. Many different incompatible versions and bad multi-version support
      Linux binary
      not widely enough installed; users are resistant to learning; several different versions
      OS/X binary
      both disadvantages of Windows and Linux at once!
      Java "binary"
      horribly variable platform versions; users are resistant; inconsistent user interface; ugly
      Flash "binary"
      partly incomplete platform access; horrible security model; horribly s.low and unstable; at serious risk of elimination in the next couple of years
      HTML5 / AJAX
      incomplete platform access; slow.

      Does HTML need the features necessary to write generic applications? Certainly not.

      Again it's the wrong question. The question is: "does it make sense for the people writing the HTML 5 standard to make generic applications possible". The answer is "unfortunately yes". They see a gap in the market and they are closest to filling it. Let's be clear what the gap is:

      • Cross platform (Windows XP -> Windows 2008 / OS/X / Linux + Mobile )
      • Dynamically installable (you don't need t
      • Basically what you are saying here is that when you move to a "Browser is the OS set up" what you are actually moving to is a "Google is your administrator and your system and all applications are controlled by them set up".

        I can't imagine Microsoft deliberately walking into that.

        No, it seems much more like, Google and others may provide a software-as-a-service version (pure Web), but it can also run locally. At this point, it's essentially a replacement for the other platforms you mentioned -- Java being the closest, I think.

        I do wish there was more emphasis on local servers, but as a developer and a user, I actually like this trend. As a developer, it means that while my frontend is forced into HTML/CSS/JavaScript, my backen

    • by cptdondo (59460)

      The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid. Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

      Somehow I want to read Godel's theorem [wikipedia.org] again...

    • Please make it stop.

      One might as well ask the sun not to rise. People are ignorant and know only what they see. The internal workings of the software that runs their daily lives are so far beyond them as to be indistinguishable from magic. Those who know what is available and what they want will continue to use the proper tools, which will always exist, while the masses use their 'browser as an OS' tablets and complain about not being able to work offline or how slow and crappy their tablet is compared to their previous comput

  • Its called linux. all firefox needs, is to bundle an acceptable linux kernel together with an installer and firefox.
  • by PineHall (206441) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:20PM (#36507188)
    Does a Linux kiosk OS count? How about Webconverger [webconverger.org]? It is a Debian derivative kiosk that uses Firefox.
  • One trick pony.

    Granted, they do that trick very well, but they lack the resource to manage much more.
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Thunderbird is a decent mail client, or at least better than most of the alternatives.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      The term is "mission creep" and it's a bad thing. I see no logical reason why Firefox would need its own OS when it presently runs on more than just one OS. And for that matter more than one free OS.

  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:21PM (#36507198)

    Just install a very lightweight linux distro. Install firefox on it. Set it to full screen mode.

    Done. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    • Sshhhh.... reinventing the wheel is what we in IT get paid for, half the time!

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        Sshhhh.... reinventing the wheel is what we in IT get paid for, half the time!

        Half?

        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          Sshhhh.... reinventing the wheel is what we in IT get paid for, half the time!

          Half?

          yes. We actually re-invent the wheel 100% of the time, but we only get paid for half.

  • I am working on building out the Amorphous OS, (you can Google it) Firefox or something like it would be a big part of it's functionality.

    >The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid.
    Yes, we already have browsers,

    A Cloud based OS and blurring the lines between OS executable binaries and HTML though isn't a stupid idea.

    I've already given a talk at BAFUG, and am preparing presentations and design docs for each subsystem.

  • why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?

    I heard you like buying paying for terabytes of RAM, so I stuck a firefox in your firefox so you can bloat while you bloat...

  • Great idea. Then they can make an OS web app that runs on the browser, basically a windows add-on for firefox. That way you can upload your OS in the cloud and just stream it over 3G to all your devices whenever you need it. A side benefit would be that Microsoft would finally get paid for all the pirated software people have stolen from them over the years.
  • They don't want to? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:34PM (#36507328) Homepage

    Because then they'd have to deal with all the hardware support and driver incompatibility bullshit that Microsoft and Apple and the Linux crew have to deal with. Not everybody wants to code at the metal level.

  • by Windwraith (932426) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:37PM (#36507364)

    Am I the only one who just wants a browser?
    Sure, I like stuff like javascript games (I am a game dev so the topic inherently catches my attention) and some webapps, but I am certainly not willing to give my browser that much importance.
    For me the centerpiece of the OS is the file manager and the tools to do my tasks. I don't want to have to depend on just a browser or webapps that don't have local code to run from your physical computer. We know the cloud is not 100% reliable (sure, it's not 100% unreliable either, but until there's no choice but to use it, I want to use that choice).

    • by woolpert (1442969) on Monday June 20, 2011 @09:19PM (#36508182)

      For me the centerpiece of the OS is the file manager and the tools to do my tasks

      This is an argument against the browser as OS and gets +4 insightful? The mind boggles.

      1 - File manager as centerpiece of OS:
      A - A file manager is an app (of my choosing) which runs on top of my OS.
      B - As we have already seen browser (IE / Konqueror) is hard to distinguish from a file manager (Explorer / Konqueror) and so if we accept your argument that the file manager is the centerpiece of an OS there is evidence aplenty that a browser is said centerpiece.

      2 - "The tools to do my tasks" as co-centerpiece of an OS.
      If ever there was a classic definition of "applications" it was "the tools to do my tasks". The OS is the tool to do the application's tasks. If we're going to zoom out and take such a broad view of what an OS is (it sounds to me like you're describing a desktop environment ) how are current browsers not inches away from that already?

      We know the cloud is not 100% reliable

      Where in the concept of "browser as OS" is "no off-line content" made explicit?

    • by ignavus (213578)

      For me the centerpiece of the OS is the file manager and the tools to do my tasks. I don't want to have to depend on just a browser or webapps that don't have local code to run from your physical computer. We know the cloud is not 100% reliable (sure, it's not 100% unreliable either, but until there's no choice but to use it, I want to use that choice).

      For me, latency is one of the many issues. Haven't you ever had your Internet connection crawling at a snail's pace because of congestion?

      Who wants their app data stored on such an iffy environment? Maybe higher bandwidth would help, but I am about 5 kilometres from the nearest phone exchange and I only get about 400 KB/second max - often less (like when a family member is watching YouTube).

      And then there is this thing called the Pacific Ocean, which many of my packets have to cross...

      Give me local storage.

  • HTML? Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:40PM (#36507390)
    MS is really talking about using HTML as the best way to port code between the different versions of Windows 8? That is at least 4 different kinds of fail.
    • Re:HTML? Really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mia'cova (691309) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:16PM (#36507688)

      No... they're saying "hey all you web developers out there, you can make apps for us now too without having to learn anything new! Now whip together your facebook/amazon/ebay website app ports in 1/10th the time it takes you to do so on iphone/ipad!"

    • The official demos [youtube.com] so far have focused on HTML5/JS as a development platform for Windows 8. Nothing has been said about it being "the best way to port code between different versions of Windows". For that matter, nothing has been said about the need to port code at all.

      Until September [buildwindows.com], anyone who tells you that they know anything other than what's said in that video (like this Slashdot story) is presenting his guesswork as facts.

  • It is a GUI framework that sits on top of application frameworks, that sits on top of device abstraction layers, that sits on top of the kernel... Just because you stop wrapping the GUI being presented by the browser with it's own GUI doesn't mean that the browser is suddenly the OS. Just because all you as*hats see is a GUI doesn't mean you're 99% of the way to having an operating system once you've cobbled one together. You HTML5/Javascript people are creating a mess just as bad as what the IT marketin
  • by Mekabyte (678689) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:44PM (#36507420) Homepage
    just two weeks ago [slashdot.org]. Webian Shell [mozillalabs.com] on top of Linux sounds a lot like Chrome OS to me...
  • The big issue when it comes to OS design is the API, and if it can possibly be an improvement over what is currently out there. Think about it, it's all about making an API for programmers to code for that will be better in some way, shape, or form compared to what else is out there. For phones, you see Android, WebOS, iOS, and the list goes on. Some use Linux under the API, so what API would be better? How many attempts will there be to slap a new API on top of Linux, call it a new OS, and then

  • your PC in c++ ? your PC in javascript ? your connexion to the interwebs ? the cloud's servers ?

    You've got your answer !

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:49PM (#36507476) Homepage Journal
    IMHO, Mozilla was created to leverage the assets of Netscape to prevent a world in which proprietary MS protocals controlled the web. There was no business model in which Mozilla had to be the market share leader. There was no need to play games in which users had to be lured to give up personal data. A cross platform browser allowed users freedom to choose a machine that suited them and then run an appropriate Mozilla variant. I myself use Camino.

    MS needs a browser based OS to maintain market share in the world of sub-$500 internet devices. We have seen these fail, and everyone is saying lack of mobile broadband is going to kill them, but these are going to be targeted at home user with WiFi that want inexpensive machines that can move around the house. The benefit is going to be reliability, and MS want to take users away from Apple in this lucrative market and return them to MS.

    Likewise Google has to have a mobile OS to continue to collect information. The mobile OS is prefect for Google because everything a user does is recorded, track, mined, and sold. Google already has significant market share, so, as we see, the internet devices are being sold at a healthy profit, and the benefit to the user are free applications after the fact. This gives MS hope as it can often intimidate manufacturers to sell at a less healthy profit in return for marketing support that will create the volume that MS wants.

    So we have one company that wants a WebOS to keep it office franchise alive, another that wants to keep the advertising money flowing. Where would mozzila be? They have no market share concerns, they have no free apps, and there is no open hardware platform for a table or internet computer. So one can buy an expensive laptop, pay the internet tax, and then install this great Mozilla OS. We have seen how well this works for Linux. Or one can buy the allegedly open Android or Chrome tablet and install Mozilla. What is the point? Chrome is not a bad OS.

    As we have seen on the iPhone, software developers don't want to develop for the web browser. They want native Apps. The machine needs to do both, unless one is in the business of locking in users like MS or Google.

    • by yarnosh (2055818)

      MS needs a browser based OS to maintain market share in the world of sub-$500 internet devices.

      That makes no sense at all. Microsoft needs to continue lock people into things like .NET to maintain market share. If everything goes browser based, there's no reason for anyone to pay for Windows... even a WebOS version. The only way it would work is if they make their "web apps" incompatible with other browser. But then, what's the point? You might as well just invent a better technology besides HTTP/HTML that will give you good thin client functinality without all the drawbacks of the browser.

      Likewise Google has to have a mobile OS to continue to collect information.

      This much

  • Because they invented the concept and had already rejected it?

  • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:56PM (#36507528) Homepage

    "which raises the question that why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?"

    Mozilla has considered a Firefox OS and decided against it.

  • Using Google Chrome as an example, the Chromebooks serve a small niche of users who only do specific tasks. Real OS's like OS X, Windows and Linux provide the ability of satisfying all user types to do any task.

    Besides, explain to me how a Firefoxbook/pad would be able to compete with a Chromebook when it'd take several hours to boot after grandma accidentally let FF install 100 different useless add-ons.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:07PM (#36507616)
    Can someone summarize this article for me? I can't open the link because firefox has been constantly locking up on me since the last release.
  • by yarnosh (2055818) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:28PM (#36507778)
    What would a "Firefox OS" do that running FIrefox fullscreen won't? If you want to make your web browser your only application, DON'T RUN ANY OTHER PROGRAMS. Jesus Christ people, there's nothing innovative or novel about a system that will only run a web browser. It is a crippled system and a stupid idea.
    • by localman (111171)

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't understand why people are hyped up about stuff like this.

  • Java? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Loosifur (954968) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:59PM (#36508038)

    I remember back in the day, when I actually wanted to major in CS, Java came out. Yes, that long ago. And the big thing about Java was that you would be able to write code that was platform-independent, and just rely on a Java interpreter that would be released on any necessary platforms. Which is why everything is written in Java now...

    I'm just saying, using a browser as a conveyance for some sort of universal HTML-based software market just seems like a new version of an old idea that didn't pan out in the first place.

    Also, not to nitpick (well, yes to nitpick), but I think that part that says "suddenly every piece of software works..." needs a bit of filling out. Especially at the "suddenly" part.

    Also also, Mozilla would be better off not trying to be the Gobot to Google's Transformer, if you see what I mean. That niche is already being filled by Google. Mozilla should focus on making a niche for Firefox, not making it an also-ran to Chrome OS. Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Firefox since Chrome came out, and since I put Opera on my Droid. But, there must be some area where Firefox excels, because it has a solid base of users. They should exploit and enhance that area.

    • And the big thing about Java was that you would be able to write code that was platform-independent, and just rely on a Java interpreter that would be released on any necessary platforms. Which is why everything is written in Java now...

      I don't think that's the biggest reason. I think the biggest reason is that it was reasonably similar to other 800-lb gorillas, like C++, but included things like garbage collection.

      I'm just saying, using a browser as a conveyance for some sort of universal HTML-based software market just seems like a new version of an old idea that didn't pan out in the first place.

      Maybe so, but here are some things that help:

      First, there are multiple implementations with significant marketshare. If your app didn't run on things like kaffe or gcj, no big loss -- if one of Oracle's flagship JDeveloper-based frameworks doesn't work on OpenJDK today, they don't care -- hell, one of the bigger reasons Java fai

  • Just click the maximize button! It's another pointless illusion such as the appification of everything. Google chrome web store "apps" are are just a links to a web page. Lets hope this doesn't happen to Firefox too.
    • Most are, but they can also get to the Chrome extension API, I think. That, and it means Google can sell them the way they can sell other "apps", which means that whether it's "just a website" or not, I can actually sell it to you as if it was a thing.

  • So basically MS coders have now finally made it possible to create a single piece of software and have it run on ANY computer? As long as it runs the Windows... Windows 8? WOW! Amazing! This tech will SET the WORLD alight and give me apps that look and function exactly the same on my 3 screen desktop as on my phone...

    Why is there no Firefox OS? Actually, there are LOTS of apps that use the Mozilla code base to create apps that run on ANY OS the browser runs on. Take firebug. Runs on Linux, OSX and even Wind

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