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Firefox OS: Disruptive By Aiming Low

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the picture-worth-1k-words dept.

Firefox 286

judgecorp writes "As Apple launches a new slightly-improved iPhone 5, Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich says if you want a really disruptive phone you should look to Firefox OS. It's a low-cost low-end device — and that's the point. It uses standards so should be resistant to patent infringement suits, it will fit on featurephone-grade hardware, and it will run HTML5 apps without the restriction of native apps in an app store. In other words, it's aiming for the next 2 billion smartphone users, people who can't afford the iPhone/Android model." Reader rawkes has some (very warm) thoughts about Firefox OS, too, which helpfully includes both screenshots and a video demo.

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286 comments

HOSTS file would have prevented this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41341925)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040729&cid=40949719 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040697&cid=40949343 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040597&cid=40948659 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40947927 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040425&cid=40946755 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40942439 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3024445&cid=40942207 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40942031 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038601&cid=40942085 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040803&cid=40950045 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040867&cid=40950563 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40950839 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041035&cid=40951899 [slashdot.org]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041081&cid=40952169 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041091&cid=40952383 [slashdot.org]
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40952991 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40954201 [slashdot.org]
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042199&cid=40956625 [slashdot.org]
http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897177 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029589&cid=40894889 [slashdot.org]
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40886171 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042451&cid=40959497 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042547&cid=40960279 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042669&cid=40962027 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965091 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965087 [slashdot.org]
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967049 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972117 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972271 [slashdot.org]
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045075&cid=40972313 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045349&cid=40973979 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3046181&cid=40978835 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3046211&cid=40979293 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3050711&cid=41002319 [slashdot.org]
AND MANY MORE

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words

alexander peter kowalski
903 east division st.
syracuse, ny 13208

dob: 01/31/1965

mother:
jan kowalski
dob: 12/03/1933

Re:HOSTS file would have prevented this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342107)

Eat a cock.

Re:HOSTS file would have prevented this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342895)

If you can't afford an iPhone, that means you are poor! Poor people creep me out and should be shoved into a cave somewhere, away from me!

WebOS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41341949)

This sounds a lot like my current WebOS phone.

What a concept! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41341969)

Crush the competition by making things that deliberately suck.

Re:What a concept! (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342103)

How did we get on the subject of Internet Explorer?

Re:What a concept! (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342515)

I take it you haven't used Firefox lately? Man I really wish they'd spin these research projects off and keep the browser devs focused on the damned browser. Used to be every release it got better, sure it had bugs but you could see real progress being made, each release was better than the last...not anymore, now it gets prettier but NOT better and on anything low power it gets curbstomped by any of the Chromium variants.

As for TFA...where is the market? Third world maybe? Hell Walmart is selling $130 no contract Android phones now and the price is dropping all the time, i really wouldn't be surprised to see a $60 Android phone this time next year. So I really don't see what market they are gonna target with this thing, maybe if it would have come out 3 or 4 years ago but now all the ODMs and devs know Android and its really not hard to get the 2.x branch to run on any damned thing, look at all the sub $80 tablets out there. Hell the other day I saw a $100 tablet running 4.0, so how cheap can FF go and still have a market worth pursuing?

Re:What a concept! (3, Informative)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342857)

After a quick look here's a $69 android phone [walmart.com] from Wal-Mart. And while I wouldn't expect much from it, I have to mention this $49 tablet [walmart.com] that also came up in the search for cheap androids. I mean for $49 you certainly won't be worried about damaging it. You could get one just for the bathroom.

Re:What a concept! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342979)

Read the reviews on that $49 Walmart tablet. This is what Firefox OS is trying to do away with. I develop games in HTML5, and even some of the better Android phones out there are still garbage in running them.

The only thing more ridiculous than Firefox.... (-1, Flamebait)

shiftless (410350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342937)

...is the idea I would ever use an operating system written by these assclowns. lol, no thanks

I read the title... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342015)

And thought: "What a load of crap." then I read TFA and the other thing and I was like: "Oh wow, this is not a bad idea at all." and then I thought: "Could have done with this earlier, though."

Re:I read the title... (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342713)

Better tardy to the party than huddled at home with a bag of Cheetos.

Apple will sue (2, Insightful)

A12m0v (1315511) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342041)

The homepage is a grid of icons with 4 icon dock in the bottom,

Re:Apple will sue (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342225)

Apple will sue

The homepage is a grid of icons with 4 icon dock in the bottom,

It's okay, the icons are round so they should be safe.

...Until a jury decides a circle is just a square with extremely rounded corners.

Re:Apple will sue (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342667)

So would you say.. Apple might sue over squares with rounded corners with rounded corners??

Re:Apple will sue (1)

lexluther (529642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342637)

can't sue mozilla - no benefit / no money.

Re:Apple will sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342745)

Apple's lawsuits aren't about equitable relief, they're about specific performance.

Re:Apple will sue (1, Insightful)

markjhood2003 (779923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342839)

It's remarkable how many phones copy that lame icon grid from iOS. The first reaction I have whenever I see a phone like that is how dense and cluttered the screen looks, and how little information it actually provides.

You have to at least give Microsoft credit for coming up with a distinctive UI that doesn't look anything like Apple's.

FUCK YOU MOZILLA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342043)

No not a troll. As it is I can't block some software updates on my Android. I can downgrade them back but the software keeps upgrading itself on that hideous Google Play monstrosity that is Marketplace reborn. But if it were a Firefox phone I'd expect to get forced updates every day to everything, apps that broke every new version, and features removed at the whim of Mozilla or whenever THEY decide a security breach means I can't use the software anymore. Oh and the version number would look like a poker machine counter from Las Vegas. This based on my experience with the Firefox browsers which has COMPELTELY GONE OFF THE RAILS since about 3.5.

FUCK OFF. DO NOT WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:FUCK YOU MOZILLA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342119)

Mod -1 offtopic

people who can't afford the iPhone/Android model? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342051)

And who are they?

If you get a contract ( like most people do ) you can get one for free ( ok, not truly free, but no up front outlay of cash ). If you want to own it out right, buy last years model. Or just buy a china android..

If you cant do either, you most likely cant afford the smart phone data charge either so the point is moot.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342113)

Agreed. Cell phones are cheap as fuck. It's the service that beats you down. I have never owned a smart phone, because while I'm fine paying a couple hundred bucks every two or three yeras for a phone, I'm *not* fine paying a couple hundred bucks a *month* for a plan.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342243)

Where do you get this ridiculous $200/month price? My family all has smart phones (teens included) and we pay about $40/month each. (Thanks, MetroPCS) Oh, and that's for mix of 3G and 4G/LTE Android phones. MetroPCS isn't the best network, but covers (sub)urban California pretty well.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (3)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342427)

Family of 5, adds up to $200/month on my calculator - for a service that doesn't work when we travel on weekends? No thanks.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342635)

OMG! End of the world!

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342823)

Family of 5, adds up to $200/month on my calculator - for a service that doesn't work when we travel on weekends? No thanks.

Some carriers could probably market the lack of coverage as a benefit ;) "No service in Hawaii!"

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342461)

Jesus, I pay less than $20 a month.
And that's 3G with 800MB "fast internet", and if I go over, unlimited slow internet.
I think I only went over once.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342485)

And I pay $25 for 2.5 GB (and get throttled after that) and 300 minutes. I never went over the limit.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342539)

Those of us who don't live in your California suburb and who have multiple devices on a wireless carrier's network. I pay $130 for a smartphone with unlimited data, text, and a lot of minutes plus an additional traditional flip phone on Verizon. You can probably tell I'm grandfathered under the old plan. Verizon is going to push me into a new contract one way or another either with them or a new carrier. I need a lot of reliability even in the middle of nowhere, and I need about 3GB data and a lot of texting. Verizon's new plans which I will be pushed into if I upgrade will cost me probably around $150. I can see some people easily running $200 if they use a tablet on their carrier's network. I believe it would cost me maybe $40 to add an iPad/Android tablet to my plan. That will be nearly $200 right there.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (2)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342559)

Where do you get this ridiculous $200/month price?

Obviously with Verizon and AT&T...

Browsing Verizon's website, a smartphone with a 10GB data plan is advertised as $140/mo, and that's BEFORE Verizon factors in their fees and taxes.

MetroPCS isn't the best network, but covers (sub)urban California pretty well.

In fact I'd say MetroPCS is the worst of the worst... If you want to go for cheap, prepaid service, you could go T-Mobile, but Sprint (Boost, Virgin, etc) usually has the best deals with decent nationwide coverage.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

joelsanda (619660) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342527)

Agreed. Cell phones are cheap as fuck. It's the service that beats you down. I have never owned a smart phone, because while I'm fine paying a couple hundred bucks every two or three yeras for a phone, I'm *not* fine paying a couple hundred bucks a *month* for a plan.

I don't think the three of us on the family plan with iPhones pay that on AT&T. That comes with the super cool unlimited 3G that is suddenly limited at 4GB per month, but the day I hit is the day something is really wrong in the universe. But a couple hundred a month for the plan - did it come with a person?

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342589)

That comes with the super cool unlimited 3G that is suddenly limited at 4GB per month

Really? I went from unlimited data on first gen iPhone and an iPhone 3GS to unlimited data on two iPhone 4S without any fuss from AT&T.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342555)

Look at the Walmart straight talk Android phone, its popular as hell here and after playing with one I can see why. The phone is $130 (A Galaxy something, you'd have to look it up but it surfs nice) and the service is $50 a month unlimited everything and no contract. You can even get it cheaper if you buy in 3 month or 6 month instead of monthly.

I figured at that price it would really suck but...it was nice actually. The phone was responsive, battery life was decent, it surfed and played music nicely, really couldn't find anything wrong with it other than no SIM support. If all you want is a smartphone with no contract crap you should check one out.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342173)

And who are they? If you get a contract ( like most people do)...

Looks like someone has never been to the developing world.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342327)

And I could care less about them and their pitiful existence.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342815)

They know. [wikipedia.org] Don't breed. Your spawn will suffer the consequences of your indifference.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342325)

I think the point is that cheap android devices suck. This tries to be the cheap less sucky option.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (4)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342389)

If you get a contract ( like most people do ) you can get one for free

Most people IN THE USA do that. Everywhere else in the world, they do not, and have to pay for their own damn hardware.

When you're just swapping pre-paid SIM cards to go from one provider to another, there's nobody to subsidize your phones for you.

If you cant do either, you most likely cant afford the smart phone data charge either so the point is moot.

We're not talking about the USA/Europe here. Head to Africa, and you'll find that cell service is cheap... With terrible exchange rates, and dirt-cheap labor, locally provided services are reasonably priced, while any imported items are very expensive. When people survive on an income of less than $100, you can buy a (locally produced) Coke for $0.12, but an imported iPhone is still $600+, you start to see the problem.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (-1, Offtopic)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342541)

Everywhere else in the world, they do not, and have to pay for their own damn hardware

And i care about them in the slightest, why?

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342571)

And i care about them in the slightest, why?

Because they're the topic and focus of this story...

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

edjs (1043612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342943)

When you're just swapping pre-paid SIM cards to go from one provider to another, there's nobody to subsidize your phones for you.

I wish using the word "subsidize," especially by the telcos, to describe this would end. The one subsidizing the phone is the buyer, by locking themselves into an inflated monthly fee.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342409)

Luddite with no data plan here... any kind of data plan that I would consider worth having runs $70+/month - $840/year, I don't really care if the phone is free, I don't want to sign up for a multi-thousand dollar future debt.

If they'd sell me an iPhone with voice only service and let me access WiFi only for my data, I'd be on-board, even at $600 up front, but between now and retirement, a data plan looks like it might add up to the equivalent of a nice cabin cruiser, or a condo on the beach - is checking Google while you're waiting for the check in a restaurant really that valuable to you?

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (2)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342767)

Somebody with usable mod points in this discussion should mod this smart shopper up. Data plans are an INSANE luxury unless you're able to use it to make more money than you're paying every month for it. Same reason you're an idiot if you take out a loan to buy anything personal other than a house.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

alcmena (312085) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342851)

My 0% loan for a new Prius disagrees... In seriousness, I think you should include cars as they.are a pre-req for most people to have or maintain a job.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342843)

you're asking people in the US to choose between things that cost money? what are you crazy? the answer is get BOTH. the debt will eventually just go away on it's own. I mean, seriously, there's an IPHONE 5!!!!11!!

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342985)

Luddite with no data plan here... any kind of data plan that I would consider worth having runs $70+/month - $840/year, I don't really care if the phone is free, I don't want to sign up for a multi-thousand dollar future debt.

Well, you didn't actually spell out what your requirements are, so I'm not interested in a comparison with moving goal-posts.

However, Verizon's 2GB plan is $90 (well over your $70 limit) while Virgin Mobile's 2.5GB plan is $30. [cnet.com]
It's also prepaid so no contract, you can quit any time.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41343029)

I like coverage that works where I live, $70/mo is Verizon's "family shareable" dataplan. We're dabbling with $15/mo for AT&T data on the iPad only, and in 3 months of paying for it haven't used it for anything other than the obligatory "let's see if we can get maps while we drive." Yup, can get maps while we drive. Great, too bad I know pretty much all the roads I use in the 3 states we travel in, without maps.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342429)

I think you're missing the low-end concept here.

you can get one for free

You can be forgiven for thinking that $30-60 dollars a month is no big deal. For some people it's completely untenable. They are actual, literate human beings with rights and stuff. They don't have 'plans.'

buy last years model

Last years model isn't all that cheap, especially if it's unlocked. An unlocked Nexus S from 2010 is $340+, for example.

Today you can get a new, unlocked low power Android phone from LG for about $100. A year from now a new phone with the same power will probably be $75. An unlocked smart phone for the price two month's 'plan' cost. You can get GSM for $0.10 and Skype minutes for $0.019. A full function unlocked smart phone for cheap. Real cheap.

That's what we're talking about. So cheap it's almost disposable. And no 'plan.'

Android does run on those low end phones. The runtime overhead doesn't help, however. There is a place for a really efficient smart phone OS and Firefox OS is aiming right for it.

smart phone data charge

Lack of data does not preclude smart phones. For some people the smart phone is the only web capable device they own. Those people will know exactly where to find several reliable wifi hotspots within a walk or short drive.

People who spend time with seasonal workers get all this. Please try to allow for your own ignorance; there are a lot of other people on this planet.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342479)

My thought is that this type of project has a lot in common with OLPC, since a Smartphone is essentially a PC in a small footprint. Cheap, open source, nice interface, low-end hardware, for the 3rd world. Mix Firefox OS with mesh networking, and things just might get interesting...

Whatever happened to OLPC? They are still around [laptop.org] but I hardly hear of them anymore...

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342561)

Newsflash: you don't need a mobile data plan to enjoy a smart phone.

Most of them do WiFi too, if you really need data, and a large number of apps don't need data other than for downloading ads. I'm very happy with my smartphone and 2G-only voice plan.

Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342813)

Android phones can be had for 69 bucks with no contract and $40/month unlimited service at metropcs. These things will have to be REAL damn cheap to beat that.

Updates??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342061)

So will this OS also need to update every 6 weeks, killing all of the apps you download?

But why does FF run worse under desktop Linux? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342091)

As compared to Firefox for Windows that is. If they can make Firefox run smoothly on a poorly spec'd device only a hardware-hacking Slashdot reader would love, why can't Mozilla make it run smoother on a multicore GHz-class desktop?

Does this mean the X + desktop environment layer really sucks and that baremetal Linux can run Firefox faster than Chrome on steroids?

Re:But why does FF run worse under desktop Linux? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342149)

It just means that they disregard Linux completely and make all their design choices for Windows, even if those choices cripple the Linux version.

The funny thing is that Chrome, which was originally Windows-only, runs better on Linux than Firefox, which was multi-platform from its inception.

Chrome OS (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342283)

The funny thing is that Chrome, which was originally Windows-only, runs better on Linux than Firefox

I think it has something to do with Chrome being essentially the only UI toolkit available on Chrome OS netbooks. Google had to get it right.

Re:Chrome OS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342303)

Chrome works better than Firefox everywhere. I don't know why people keep beating the FF drum. It's so 2006.

Systen requirements differ (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342343)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Chrome works better than Firefox everywhere.

Except on devices that can't run Chrome but can run Firefox, as I mentioned in another comment [slashdot.org].

Re:But why does FF run worse under desktop Linux? (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342833)

It just means that they disregard Linux completely and make all their design choices for Windows, even if those choices cripple the Linux version.

The funny thing is that Chrome, which was originally Windows-only, runs better on Linux than Firefox, which was multi-platform from its inception.

You must be using a crappy version of Linux, or you haven't optimized FF properly. Try openSUSE - it's kept pace with the Windows version of FF very well for years. They've got their own Build Service and software optimization - they don't just slap together a bunch of pieces from various Debian repositories and call it a "distribution".

Re:But why does FF run worse under desktop Linux? (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342509)

last time I checked, the main reason was the compiler. They are not compiling the FF release for windows with gcc. But most distro use gcc.

Firefox for Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342135)

If Firefox OS is anything like Firefox for Android then they may have a winner. Firefox for Android is good. If you haven't tried it yet you should. Fast, stable and efficient. Way better than the stock Android browser.

Re:Firefox for Android (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342177)

That is because it is hardware accelerated. You should also try Chrome (which is also hardware accelerated).

Chrome is for ICS/JB only and requires Gapps (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342307)

The last time I checked, Chrome required an Android 4.x device that comes with the Google Play Store [google.com], while Firefox could run on any Android 2.2/2.3 device with an ARMv7 CPU and enough RAM [mozilla.org]. Not all devices are officially upgradable to Android 4, and not all devices come with Google Play Store.

Re:Chrome is for ICS/JB only and requires Gapps (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342353)

Ahh, I have always been on cynogenmod (and have been upgrading as new releases come up), so I never noticed this. Interesting decision from the Chrome team.

Re:Chrome is for ICS/JB only and requires Gapps (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342385)

I have both on my Galaxy Note 10.1.

Chrome is nice and zippy (basically just like the desktop version).

Firefox is slow, laggy with ugly font rendering (also basically just like the desktop version).

I think you really need a newerish device to run Chrome, due to the out of process execution model it requires.

Re:Chrome is for ICS/JB only and requires Gapps (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342457)

Did you try it after they got hardware acceleration and new UI (Firefox v14, July 17)? I find both working equally well on my smartphone.

Raposa De Fogo! (1)

osmosys (2730525) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342163)

Perhaps in South America Mozilla should re-brand to, "Raposa de Fogo" Personally, I never jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. I've never owned an iPhone or a droid. I have one of those cheapy fake smartphones that are half-assed. I call people I text people - that's it. When I work I fire up Mint 13 on my laptop, and go to the shell, or whatever.Yet recently my friend who is a smartphone programmer asked me to test his app on IOS, so I'm buying an iPhone 5 as a favor to him. Maybe I should tell him to port it to Firefox Os. Then we can yell "Raposa de Fogo" together - toasting yerba matte while we brag about using "Raposa" before it was cool. ;-)

Web as an OS (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342167)

The model of the web as an OS has been passed around since the turn of the century. The dot com bubble tried it. Oracle has tried it, repeatedly. Microsoft tried it. Every attempt so far has failed, and it was by people with far more resources than the Firefox team. I could type out a long list of reasons why this is, but what's the point? History tells us that no matter how promising it looks, and how pretty it is, it's destined for the scrap heap.

Re:Web as an OS (2)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342549)

You're talking about network computers? These were not web-based. They ran a special OS with server storage; applications were written in Java.

When this idea was big (1997) they were too optimistic with their assumptions: that it was easy to wean people away from Windows, the absence of network infrastructure would not be a problem, and that Java was mature enough to write serious applications in.

Now there seems to be rather less MS Office lockin, everybody has fast networking, and instead of Java we have some really promising web technology.

Of course, this approach might well fail too. (My own experience with browser-based word processing is not encouraging.) But it's something new and deserves an honest chance.

Re:Web as an OS (2)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342597)

there's this little company called Google that has this thing called ChromeOS. it is EXACTLY this ... an OS that boots into a browser. it's not lighting the world on fire either.

Re:Web as an OS (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342605)

Agreed.

This story comes hot on the heels of Facebook complaining html5 was a bad choice for their app as it was too slow compared to native.

And now they want to run this already-slow (compared to native at least - and it will always be slower than native code) and put it on low-end hardware. Slow+slow. Great plan.

Well the Firefox OS phone is great for pre-paid (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342271)

no contract phones like Net10 and Tracfone. You just buy minutes and service days and each thing you use deducts a certain amount of minutes. No iPhone will do that yet that I know of.

Tracfone I have, I bought a $15 Motorola Tracfone 5 years ago and still use it, averages $7/month for me. I am thinking of switching to a different model, but no iPhones and Android phones are available for the Tracfone pre-paid service. They are more likely to use the Firefox OS phone because it is cheap.

Re:Well the Firefox OS phone is great for pre-paid (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342453)

There are plenty of Android phones for pre-paid, like mine, though perhaps Firefox OS ones will be slightly cheaper.

Do I get a shell? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342273)

Is it running on top of a typical POSIX environment on which I can run bash? That's all I want from a pocket computer.

Re:Do I get a shell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342417)

Just curious, what would you do with this bash phone?

(Android phones have had this feature for some long time now).

Way off the mark (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342333)

From TFA:

The low-end approach means Firefox OS will run on phones with 256M of memory and a single core 700 â" 800MHz CPU, the kind of system which is underpowered when compared with iOS or Android.

This is nuts. They're not targeting feature-phones at all... I was expecting something really low-end, with a fast HTML5 interpreter, instead of mobile java. Instead, they're targeting the low-end of current 1st world smart phones.

Those specs are better than the Samsung Replenish, going for $80 on Boost Mobile or the Alcatel Venture, going for $30 on Virgin Mobile. Those are unsubsidized prices, too, meaning you can go out any buy as many of those as you want, without ever signing-up for service.

So think of it this way... Do you want some phone specificaly designed for poor people, which doesn't have any apps, or a generation-old Android phone, which is much cheaper because they recouped their R&D selling it in the USA/Europe for years, and because the specs are slightly lower? A device which can run most of the millions of regular Android applications out there...

It's pretty clear which way to go. Of course cell phone makers are nuts, and will try anything once, because the successes are so damn profitable.

I think the FirefoxOS guys just know they don't have a product, so they're saying it's for poor people, so they can pretend they don't have to compete with Android, because nobody believes they have a snowball's chance in hell of competing with Android, here or in the 3rd world.

Re:Way off the mark (2)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342621)

what a great marketing campaign- "the phone for people that can't afford anything better." i'm sure that'll go over well in the west.

Is there still a "low end" market? (4, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342397)

It uses standards so should be resistant to patent infringement suits,

You'll be surprised what's patentable lately. And whether something is a standard or not has little to do with it.

it will fit on featurephone-grade hardware,

Running and running well are two different things. I'm skeptical until handsets are actually in the wild.

and it will run HTML5 apps without the restriction of native apps in an app store.

This is how "apps" were done on the original iPhone. There were Apple's apps, and there were 3rd party AJAX applets that generally ran from within Safari. And people complained because the quality of the user experience was hobbled by them not being native apps. The restrictions have nothing to do with whether they're native apps or HTML5 doohickeys. You can make native apps and not have an app store at all. Just let people load them to their phone direct from web downloads anywhere on the web or uploaded from flash memory card or USB sticks, kinda like how actual PCs work (for now).

In other words, it's aiming for the next 2 billion smartphone users, people who can't afford the iPhone/Android model.

Considering the iPhone 4 can be had for free now plus the iPhone has been available on prepaid for years, you could buy an older does-not-support the latest iOS iPhone pretty cheap now unlocked on Craigslist and avoid even the required Data Plan stupidity. If you can't afford one now you probably have things you should be focusing your money on instead (like food).

Better ship it fast! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342413)

The low-end devices they are targeting have 256MB RAM and 600-800 Mhz processors.

That was the high end about a year and a half ago. That means Mozilla has about that large of a time window to get this to market before the "feature" phone (whatever that means) has the same power of today's "smart" phone and can run today's Android. If I was a developing world consumer and could only afford a cheap phone, I would absolutely pick today's Android experience over some HTML-only mess.

Remember the original iPhone? (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342421)

No this isn't one of those asinine Apple did it first posts, but do try to remember back to the days of the original iPhone. The SDK wasn't available and people had to make do with Web based apps. There were screams for Apple to hurry up and release a native SDK.

I wish them luck, and I do think cheap web based phones are a underserved market. However I think Brendan Eich isn't doing Mozilla OS any favors by trying to compare it to the likes of iOS or Android. They may find themselves in the same grave as WebOS as people wonder when or if a native SDK will come out.

Bloat (0)

otuz (85014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342477)

What's the point of putting the most bloated browser on the lowest end devices? Seems like a dumb idea to me.

Huh (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342481)

If I want a phone that's cheap then I want to use bad hardware. If I want to use bad hardware program efficiency becomes more not less important. Further to use HTML5 I need a rather expensive data connection, which means it is unlikely the phone is too cheap. OK so he say's he targeting 256m or Ram 700mhz processor.

Just to put this in perspective:
iPhone 1 420mhz 128m ram
iPhone 3G 412mhz 128m Ram
iPhone 3GS (being sold for another 2 weeks, runs iOS 5) 600 mhz 256m Ram

So he's targeting the bottom of the smart phone market where iOS (at least up to version 5) and Android 2/3 run fine.

Not that Disruptive (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342487)

To be disruptive, a device has to attract developers and users. This one hasn't even got a hardware vendor. In any case, the constant screwups with Firefox and Thunderbird make me very skeptical that Mozilla can disrupt a church picnic, never mind find a place in an extremely competitive mobile device market.

Re:Not that Disruptive (3, Informative)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342685)

To be disruptive, a device has to attract developers and users.

The developers and applications already exist. It's easy to make existing HTML5 applications installable to Firefox OS. Just add an app manifest [mozilla.org] and an application cache manifest [mozilla.org]. It would be easy for ZeptoLab, for example, to make Cut the Rope [cuttherope.ie] installable to Firefox OS.

This one hasn't even got a hardware vendor.

You should read one of Telefonica's press releases [telefonica.com]. Firefox OS has both operators and hardware manufacturers.

I WANT I WANT I WANT (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342583)

... THIS TO SUCCEED!

As a developer of web-based apps, we're often asked for "an app" for our product. Yes, our app is web-based, and we do make a custom CSS for mobile that eases some of the pain, but being purely web-based has problems too, in that even with cellular you can't truly bank on 100% online 24x7, resulting in application errors, lost data, etc. There are "local install" options but it's very tough to get much done with only a few MB of local storage available without having to endlessly bombard the end user with requests for more space.

Simply put, there's just not a good way to build a standard, packageable js-only app and I really, REALLY want the Mozilla/Firefox team to come up with a compelling enough solution that Android/IOS has to follow suit for compatibility and let me FINALLY build an app usable by everyone.

Apple will fight this tooth and nail. I may have to do the same thing I did with IE years ago: simply refuse to support it. (sigh)

And there it is (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342599)

It's a 6 cylinder Chevy Nova, Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant. Get the job done. Little else really matters. Frills tend to backfire.

I expect to see a Seamonkey OS (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342617)

that I can use to overwrite the Firefox OS if I ever get a mobile device with FirefoxOS in it

Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342643)

I don't see much appeal in an OS that only runs a web browser. I understand there's a desire to move away from centrally controlled app stores, and the web as a platform has become more capable over the years, but to me from both a developer and user standpoint HTML5 and friends still provide a very sub-par experience compared to what "native" apps can offer.

That said, I wish Mozilla success, and hope they can convince major vendors (probably not Apple) to open up their phones a bit more.

I'm betting on HTML5 (3, Interesting)

Art3x (973401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342717)

Let the reader be warned that the two articles linked to from the summary are a gushing review by a Mozilla employee and an interview with the Mozilla CTO.

Even so, how many operating systems announced lately are saying that their API is basically HTML, CSS, or JavaScript? Google Chrome OS, Tizen, node.js, Blackberry 10 (sort of at least?), Windows 8 Metro, and now Firefox OS.

DISCLAIMER: I am a web programmer. (And right now, I'm happy to be one.)

Standard response to the myriad complaints about having to use JavaScript: JavaScript, as a language, is nice. Its history is tainted by incomplete browser implementations, namely Microsoft's. Also, its low level of entry flooded the web with really bad examples. If you really want to learn JavaScript, read JavaScript: The Definitive Guide or JavaScript: The Good Parts.

Less is more (4, Interesting)

Art3x (973401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342753)

It sounds like they agree with Jason Fried, who cowrote the book Getting Real, which you can read free online. To wit, this chapter: Build Less [37signals.com].

patents (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342791)

It uses standards so should be resistant to patent infringement suits,

That is NOT how it works. Standards are not a defense against patent claims, especially on the web, where some of the basic technologies like video display codecs are patented up the wazoo.

The evil of patents is that even if you mind your own business and do everything right, some American Troll who paid money to Uncle Sam's Patent Emporium can attack you and 1) stop you doing business, 2) demand money for past "infringements".

Nothing is ever good enough for Slashdot (3, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#41342901)

I'm always struck by how consistently Slashdot comments go extremely negative on new technology. According to Slashdot everything new is already a failure. This is a true knee jerk response.

This is just like the whining about the Raspberry Pi. It was pronounced an utter failure on Slashdot before it shipped, and they have now sold 200,000 units. Demand is still high enough that there are complaints about delivery times.

Did it take over the educational market for tiny computers? It's too soon to tell. It has to get into the hands of early adopting teachers first. Then it has to get wider acceptance in the educational domain, which can take time. Even if it doesn't have the impact they were hoping for in education, it can be a success in other areas. Success is success.

Consider Firefox OS. When it gets going it will be considerably less encumbered then Android. Look at what Google did to Acer when then tried to bring out a smart phone: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/09/13/1916211/alibaba-says-google-threatened-acer-with-banishment-from-android [slashdot.org]. It will also be intrinsically much less vulnerable to the ridiculous patent wars.

Mozilla has already shown that it can run on the Raspberry PI, which is a very cheep device. I can see an opportunity for a Chinese manufacturer to bring out a dirt cheep smart phone/tablet for their domestic market and not worry about Apple/Google/Motorola or other patent parasites. Since they practice Real Capitalism in China (unlike the monopolistic pseudo-capitalism here in the US) I expect to see someone try this.

Maybe Firefox OS will be a dud. I honestly don't know. I am very interested to see how the effort turns out.

I do know that this kind of bashing is a form of public masturbation that is extremely popular on Slashdot. It's boring and stupid. Can't you go somewhere else when you decide to wank off in public?

Battery life is key (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41342921)

If the battery life is decent enough, Firefox OS may be able to replace the S40 OS for Nokia Asha phones.

After Elop the Microsoft trojan horse had aborted Meego and Meltemi, this is more important than ever.

. . . WITH ADS SHOVED DOWN YOUR THROAT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41343059)

you may as well just shove it !! html5 is java, only still out of sight !! Write once and just shove it out !! It will just WoRk (like shit) !!

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