Mozilla eliminates Firefox OS development team
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Firefox OS is the Icarus of mobile operating systems. The ambitious project hoped to bring an alternative to Apple’s venerable iOS and Google’s prolific Android operating systems but ultimately failed to deliver. The only phones to sport the OS were low-powered budget affairs that failed to make a dent in the market. In 2015, the organization shifted development focus to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The OS was soon picked up by Panasonic for its use in Smart TVs, but even this didn’t last; in September of 2016, Mozilla announced that it had “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS.”
But hope lingered on. The development of Firefox OS shifted to the community and has become a small project for its rabid fans. However, it now seems that the software’s wings have melted and it has crashed into the sea. CNET is reporting that Mozilla has disbanded the development team behind Firefox OS and will lay off 50 employees.
In a statement, Mozilla said,
“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.”
The news comes at a time when Firefox is losing market share to other browsers like Google Chrome. Mozilla has been especially weak in the mobile browser market, which is quickly becoming the predominant way people access the internet.
On the plus side, CNET reports that those separating from Mozilla will receive severance packages and help with job searching. Mozilla has also opened several new positions and is encouraging those that were laid off to apply. And though they are shuttering the Firefox OS department, Mozilla as a whole is still doing well: they posted revenue of $421 million last year and maintain rich partnerships with companies like Yahoo.
We wish luck to those that were laid off and hope they are able to find work soon. And hey, we’re hiring.