Mozilla makes headway in mobile browser market

  • Mountain View (CA) - Mozilla announced this week that it is ramping up efforts to bring Internet and software platforms to cell phones, including a mobile version of Firefox.

    Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer wrote in his official company blog this week that Mozilla is expanding its mobile presence because the time and place are finally right.

    "Up until very recently device limitations required writing new mobile browsers from the ground up. Being able to leverage all the investments in the Mozilla platform across both desktops and devices is the right approach," he said.

    Schroepfer announced that Mozilla is adding mobile devices to the tier 1 platform set for Mozilla2, meaning that cell phones and similar products will be treated as "first-class citizens" in future platform decisions.  The company has also planned to increase full-time staff positions in the mobile department.

    Most interesting for consumers is the announcement of Mobile Firefox, which will be able to run extensions and other XUL-based applications that make it a much richer experience than traditional stripped mobile browsers of the past.

    The Nokia N800 is currently acting as a test phone for Mozilla's new mobile initiative, with a Mozilla browser available on that handset.  Other manufacturers and mobile operating system platforms are in the works, but Schroepfer says the company has not yet determined its target platforms for mobile applications.