It has been rumored around the internet that we will soon be seeing an OS from Mozilla. I have seen this OS in some photos and a few descriptions and I can honestly state that it’s nothing if not interesting. Do they have a chance of making it and surviving in this ever-unstable market and with all this violent competition, it remains to be seen. Sony itself has recently revealed its plans to launch a Firefox-powered device somewhere in 2014. Bob Ishida, the company’s deputy CEO confirmed that Sony engineers are currently working on said Firefox OS Mobile and evolving some HTML 5 technologies to better fit it. That shows some amount of great performance, if you ask me.
The news was given during a Sony and Telefonica joint event, where the Spanish carrier announced that it will offer the Xperia Z Android flagship and the Xperia Tablet Z. Telefonica, together with some of the other partners of Sony will be also involved in the development of a Firefox phone.
That was some pretty phenomenal news for Mozilla as Sony’s name carries some weight. Putting that name together with ZTE, Huawei, Alcatel and LG, the Firefox OS is bound to have better chances of getting a foothold in this brutally competitive market. Sony itself confirmed that they will be launching the Firefox OS phone next year and has recently even released an experimental ROM that runs the new OS. It was only released on the Sony Xperia E, thus allowing a few app developers to evaluate the platform and give Sony some valuable feedback.
Many have wondered: “Why the Xperia E, and not some stronger phone?”. Well, the answer to that is pretty simple: this isn’t an OS oriented towards the most powerful of phones. It was intended mostly for the lower-end smartphones. The Xperia E has almost the exact same specs as the ZTE Open and Alcatel OT Fire ( which are the first two smartphones that were announced to run the Firefox OS at the MWC ).
Anyway, this ROM is not really intended for daily use. Currently, it has no Wireless Connectivity of any kind as the software has not passed certification and the touchscreen and MicroSD card might not run all that great anyway. That’s why, before getting all critical about it, I suggest you remember it is only an experimental ROM meant for a small demonstration of the Firefox OS. I am sure that something better will come out in time which will allow you to do more things, but until then be thankful for what you got.
You can find some details about how to use this ROM on the Sony Developer Blog. In the meantime, here is a video that does a short demo of this ROM: