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Mozilla axes Firefox OS for smartphones

firefox os
Mozilla in Europe/Flickr
As the mobile operating system market continues to be dominated by Android and iOS, and with Windows Phone dropping to a measly 1.7 percent market share, there doesn’t seem to be much room for competing smartphone operating systems to grow.

As such, the short-lived Firefox smartphone OS is coming to an end.

Mozilla has announced an end to its mobile operating system, and stated that it would stop developing and selling FireFox OS smartphones. Mozilla made the announcement at its developer event, “Mozlando” in Orlando on December 8, according to TechCrunch. Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla’s senior vice president of connected devices, told Digital Trends that the company is still working on new experiments with other connected devices.

“We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices,” Jaaksi told us. “We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.”

“Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels. We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”

Mozilla launched Firefox OS in 2013, which was unique as it was designed to move away from native apps and used the HTML5 open Web standard to provide web apps. But the operating system barely picked up any steam, even after the company announced a slew of new devices running Firefox OS at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.

Shutting down Firefox OS isn’t the only news that has been spilling out from the company. Recently, Mozilla pulled ads from Firefox’s new tab page, saying that advertising “isn’t the right business for us at this time.” Ads will continue showing up for a few months to honor previous contracts, but then will come to an end. The feature began appearing to users in May of this year, when the new tab page began offering “Suggested” sites.

Mozilla is also considering dropping support for its email client, Thunderbird. While the service may not shut down completely, the company is looking to put more effort into developing its Firefox browser. Mozilla also announced a new ad blocker for iOS 9 called Focus by Firefox, aimed at stopping trackers.

Julian Chokkattu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Julian is the mobile and wearables editor at Digital Trends, covering smartphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more…
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