Mozilla’s HTML5 mobile OS Boot to Gecko arriving in Brazil first

20 Apr 2012

Mozilla will release its open source HTML5-based mobile OS, Boot to Gecko, in Brazil first through the Telefónica network by the end of 2012 or by early 2013.

Engadget reports that Gary Kovacs, Mozilla’s CEO, made the announcement in Sao Paulo today.

While he did not confirm what hardware would run the OS, Pablo Lerrieux, chief innovation officer of Telefónica Vivo, said handsets would be unlocked and would cost similarly to that of a feature phone.

‘Boot To Gecko’ is Mozilla’s open-source mobile operating system with web APIs which utilise normal smartphone capabilities, such as SMS, Bluetooth and phone usage. It lets developers write directly to the web without restrictions from more controlled mobile platforms.

The OS is part of Mozilla’s mission to make smartphone operating systems more open. Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, told late last year that the organisation wants to bring the freedom the web provides to mobiles by implementing HTML5 to a mobile platform.

“It’s not in these companies’ interests to allow you to switch platforms, of course they want to keep you locked, but as a user I want freedom. I want to be able to switch from one thing to another,” said Nitot.

“This is what we want to do at Mozilla – an app store with the spirit of the open web. On the web you can switch browsers or from Mac to Windows to Linux and back. It’s freedom and we want that in the app store.

“We’re basically pushing the web forward by implementing these web APIs and documenting how we want this to happen so that other browser vendors have a standard that they can discuss and agree on. We’re working not for us, but for the web as a whole,” he said.