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Firefox struggled to compete with iOS and Android

Mozilla ending development on Firefox OS

Mozilla is to end development on its mobile operating system, Firefox OS, only two years after it first previewed the software.

The company is currently working on version 2.6 of the OS, which is due to be released in May, after which it will move staff onto other projects involving Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Firefox OS was conceived as a lightweight operating system for smartphones that would run on basic, cheap hardware for customers in the developing world.

However, its reliance on HTML5 prevented it from having as slick a user experience as its rival mobile operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android in day-to-day use.

Google’s software in particular has been popular in the low-end smartphone market, making it difficult for the new OS to compete.

Mozilla said that apps from developers would continue to be accepted into 2017 and they have yet to finalize a date for when they will stop accepting submissions.

The team is now set to focus on producing software that can be used by IoT devices.

It has already been testing three new products with many more are in the pipeline, although it was not disclosed what these may be.

“Obviously, these decisions are substantial,” the company said in a blog post.

“The main reason they are being made is to ensure we are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the web to IoT.

“And let’s remember why we’re doing this: we're entering this exciting, fragmented space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions and for us to act as their advocates for data privacy and security.”

The company has blamed the commercial failure of Firefox OS on its struggle to compete with more established operating systems and app ecosystems meaning that it was always "playing catch-up" with them.

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