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Mozilla gives up on Firefox OS entirely, lays off connected devices team

by Killian Bell | February 3, 2017February 3, 2017 5:20 am PDT

Mozilla has given up on Firefox OS entirely and laid off 50 members of its connected devices team. The cut comes just over a month after the company said it would not be launching any new Firefox OS smartphones.

Mozilla developed Firefox OS as a lightweight operating system for ultra-affordable devices. Based entirely on web technologies, the software could be used on devices with as little as 128MB of RAM, and was mostly intended for emerging markets.

Sadly, Firefox OS never really took off, and so Mozilla announced last December that it would not launch any new handsets. It did, however, plan to experiment “with the user experience across connected device.” That’s no longer the case.

Mozilla has now given up on Firefox OS entirely. CNET reports that the company told its workforce on Thursday that it was no longer pursuing connected devices, then cut 50 members of its team. Its statement read:

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.

Mozilla’s plan to expand Firefox were an effort to reinvigorate interest in its web browser. Once a primary choice for a significant number of computer users, it has been cast aside in favor of Google Chrome in recent years and quickly losing its market share.

Firefox did make it to one smart device — a Panasonic 4K television — but it was heavily modified and controlled by Panasonic, not Mozilla.

CNET

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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