FIREFOX OS has given up the ghost once and for all, after Mozilla (qv. moz://a) laid off 50 staff, bringing to an end its ambition to be an Internet of Things (IoT) operating system.
The recently rebranded company had already put the kibosh on its ambitions for a mobile phone OS, but was hoping to keep the platform alive for IoT.
A statement from Mozilla explains: “We have shifted our internal approach to the internet-of-things opportunity, to step back from a focus on launching and scaling commercial products to one focused on research and advanced development, dissolving our connected devices initiative and incorporating our internet-of-things explorations into an increased focus on emerging technologies.”
Mozilla, as a not for profit, is having to rethink its purpose, having lost a huge amount of ground to rivals like Google Chrome in the browser race.
After recently spending £235m on several technology companies to expand its portfolio, the company now has to work out what it is, as the rest of the world tells it what it isn’t.
Firefox OS remains the engine behind many Panasonic TVs, but Firefox itself has no real involvement in that anymore, and has forked off, which may mean that a rethink becomes inevitable, as there are several more comprehensive platforms for televisions and media streamers that are being actively supported elsewhere.
The foundation continues to work in areas including speech recognition and artificial intelligence and many of the layoffs will actually become posts in emerging areas for the business.
We gave Moz://a quite a lot of flack when it emerged they’d 4 Comments to update their image of a being a dinosaur (literally) to a logo that probably doubles as an internal email password.
Mozilla, or moz://a, remains a hugely important part of the open source ecosystem, but our concern was that it was spending money to try and find its identity.
The axing of a key part of its strategy illustrates that it still doesn’t know, and we really, really want it to pull through, as we rather like having it around.