Mozilla to Launch App Store, Web Phone Plans: Report

According to a report, Mozilla is expected to announce plans for a Mozilla app store and a smartphone operating system based on its "Boot to Gecko" project.

Mozilla is expected to announce plans for its own app store that will launch later this year and is working on a smartphone that would run apps on the phone€™s browser, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

The report said Mozilla is expected to announce on Feb. 22 plans for its upcoming Mozilla Marketplace, which will feature mobile applications that can run on iPhones, Android phones or Windows phones. In addition, Mozilla€™s smartphone plans are tied to its €œBoot to Gecko€ project, which is an effort to create a Web-based mobile operating system.

In addition, the report said Mozilla could show an early prototype of its technology at the Mobile World Congress 2012 next week in Barcelona, Spain.

Mozilla€™s plans would mean developers adept in standard Web technologies, such as JavaScript and HTML5, would be equipped to build apps for the Mozilla phone. The company saw success in challenging Microsoft in the browser market with its Firefox browser. But it is yet to be seen how successful it can be in challenging iOS, Android and Windows Phone in the mobile space with a Web-based operating system. Palm€”and later HP€”made a go of delivering a Web-based mobile platform with its webOS, with less than stellar results.

Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript, says fulfillment of the Mozilla vision may not be far off. "Hang onto your hats; we're moving fast," Eich told the San Jose Mercury News. "A few years down the road, with Web technologies continuing to evolve, you should be able to do all the beautiful games and the presentation and the tools that you see" in native mobile apps, but with a Web-powered phone.