Firefox Mobile browser fightback begins

Mozilla Europe president Tristan Nitot has blamed the community structure enjoyed by Firefox developers as one of the key reasons a mobile version of the browser has been slow to take off to date.

"We aren’t structured to deal with selling licences or dealing with operators", Nitot told Pocket-lint in an interview to promote the release of the new desktop browser Firefox 3.

"This is a market where open source technology is only now becoming a possibility. Opera’s success has been that it can easily sell a per device licence so its easy to structure and sell into operators."

"We are getting close to fixing the browser market, so we can then look at Mobile", said Nitot, who spent the first 2 years working for the company for free.

Mozilla is currently working on two projects that are likely to see a mobile version of the browser on your mobile phone, although when is still up in the air.

"We’ve proved with the latest version of Firefox that the need for bigger CPUs and memory is no longer there, but is the industry ready?"

Codenamed Fennick and in very early development - it not planned to hit Alpha (the stage before Beta) until September this year - the mobile browser is being developed for the Linux and Windows Mobile operating systems.

Although Nitot doesn’t know when the mobile browser will come to fruition (he didn’t even have a final date for the Firefox 3 browser other than mid-June), he does hope it will include another Mozilla lab project called Weave.

The concept plans to "weave" the mobile browser and desktop browser together allowing you to share data between the two.

Not just looking at your bookmarks, the system would allow you to access the new Firefox Awesome Bar to see your search history, favourite sites and even tell you other information regardless of whether you were on a PC, mobile or netbook.

Firefox RC2 has been released today.

We will keep you posted.


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