Mozilla has announced plans to expand its Firefox OS operating system to dedicated web PCs and tablets, as well as smartphones and smart TVs, in an ambitious bid to expand the web-based platform.
The Firefox OS platform uses an operating system based on a modified version of the Firefox web browser and Linux to run apps, which are coded in open web standard languages such as HTML5 and CSS.
It is currently only used on low-end smartphones, such as the ZTE Open, although Mozilla is keen to see the platform run on a range of other devices.
The web browser and smartphone platform developer has told developers it plans to release a tablet, in conjunction with contract manufacturing firm Foxconn.
At this stage, specs for the device include a 10-inch 1280×700 display and 16 gigabytes of storage in a 267x171x9.7 mm tablet weighing 580 grams.
“We are working closely with partners like Foxconn and developers on the tablet development of Firefox OS. Because Firefox OS is built on the Web, and the Web is a truly extensible platform, we can continue to optimize Firefox OS for smartphones, while also building for tablets and different uses around the world with the help of our community,” Mozilla says
In a separate statement, Mozilla announced a partnership with low-cost computer maker APC, which is developing an entry-level web based computer based on Firefox OS.
“Many common computing tasks, such as number crunching, data storage, and communications have shifted to the Internet. As a result, a very low cost computer – with access to the Internet – can be just as valuable as a much more expensive computer,” APC states on its website.
“APC runs the Firefox OS, built for keyboard and mouse input. A basic selection of applications is preinstalled. Also included is a full set of consumer I/O ports, enabling APC to connect to your PC monitor or TV.”
APC appears to have previously been developing a desktop PCs running Android.
The news comes after a high-profile announcement at CES in which television giant Panasonic announced it is using Firefox OS, rather than Google TV, to power its smart TVs.
“Mozilla’s strategy has been to build Firefox OS primarily for emerging markets, where there are still billions of people who have yet to experience their first smartphone,” Mozilla chief operating officer Jay Sullivan states.
“The flexibility of Firefox OS is also generating interest in form factors beyond the smartphone. More devices than ever are becoming Internet-enabled: it’s estimated that there will be 30 billion wirelessly-connected devices in 2020, three times as many as today.”