Even though Google is a company that is dedicated to the internet and all of the devices that come with it – they have built Chrome OS, a dedicated computer operating system, and Android, a very popular mobile operating system – they are not actually the first company to build a web-based operating system for a mobile phone. That honour goes to the Mozilla Foundation, the not-for-profit minds behind the Firefox browser. ZTE with Firefox OS

This has caused many to question whether we actually need another mobile OS or not. It should be noted that all of the other ‘modern’ operating systems will only download and run applications that are distinct from the internet. Mozilla’s OS, however, is made up entirely of applications that are written in the same languages that the internet is (such as HTML5 and CSS), which makes them web-apps that the phone can download and run.

The great thing about Mozilla OS is that users aren’t locked into the Mozilla platform because their web apps can be accessed through the internet browser on any smartphone. This means that Mozilla’s smartphone could go one of two ways – even though it will be easy for users to abandon the phone in the future in favour of another, the fact that the OS currently has next to no users means that there is no harm in anyone giving it a go.

So why hasn’t Google built their own web-based mobile OS when the technology is already sitting there in their desktop OS? There could actually be a number of reasons for this – firstly, these sorts of operating systems are quite experimental; secondly, these sorts of operating systems embody some pretty radical ideas; and thirdly, they don’t really need to because Mozilla’s OS is going to help them out in many ways, such as being the default search engine.