Published in Editorials

Does the SmartPhone Industry need another player?

by on30 July 2011 1619 times

FirefoxWhile cruising around the web looking for something interesting to write about I stumbled upon a hastily written article about a new mobile OS from Mozilla. Thinking this was something interesting I headed over to Mozilla’s Wiki website to read more, what I found was as concerning as it was interesting. For those that do not know, Mozilla is the creative force behind such open source applications as FireFox and Thunderbird. These two have been in competition with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and to a lesser degree Outlook. The question is can they compete with companies like Google and Apple in addition to Microsoft. Now all of this is the interesting part, what is concerning is the fact that they want your mobile OS to be all cloud based. They do not come out and say this directly but they say “Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development. To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike”

This is very much like the Chrome OS that Google was touting a little over a year ago. It is a cloud based operating system that uses web technologies to drive the applications. No user data or information is stored locally; it is all kept in a cloud based storage space for the user in question. This is concerning for multiple reasons;

One – Data plans are getting more restrictive. As companies like AT&T, Verizon and others start capping the amount of data you can use each month it is going to become more difficult for users to take advantage of a cloud (or web) based operating system for their truly mobile devices. If you think about this what Mozilla appears to be indicating is that everything on the phone will be web based; things like contacts, texts, pictures all would be stored off the phone or other mobile device. This type of constant access will eat away at your limited data plans very quickly.

Two – Personal security and safety is at risk. Again by storing all user information in a single space you are opening up these accounts to potential hacking. Anon and other groups have proved that there is no such thing as a secure system (something we have said over and over and…) So all of your precious personal data will be at risk as soon as it is put in the cloud. You can bet that this type of prize will be very enticing to many groups out there.  

Lastly, it is important to remember that Apple tried the Web App approach with the first iPhone. They did this for a few months and no one liked it. It was terrible; the apps were bulky, slow and very limited. It is true that the web, HTML, and mobile technology have come a long way, but still consumer memory is very long. If Mozilla is really working on this they have a rather large hill to climb to get anywhere near any of the consumer massed except for the fringe Microsoft, Apple and Google hating Open Source crowd.

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Last modified on 30 July 2011
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