Mozilla has laid off a team of about 50 people working on bringing Firefox OS to “connected devices” and is ending its attempts to build a commercial platform for such devices.
Firefox OS originally started life as Mozilla’s attempt at a smartphone platform. The ambition was to create a free and open source platform that used Web technology to build applications, suitable for low-cost phones in emerging markets. Although a few products did materialize, Firefox OS was rapidly squeezed out by Android, so just over a year ago Mozilla repositioned the operating system. Instead of being a smartphone platform, Mozilla aimed to create a range of software and services for Internet of Things-style connected devices.
While devices from Panasonic did ship, Mozilla doesn’t appear to have made much of a splash in this market either.
As a result, the organization is now abandoning the product segment entirely. In a statement, the company said:
We have shifted our internal approach to the Internet-of-things opportunity to step back from a focus on launching and scaling commercial products to one focused on research and advanced development, dissolving our connected devices initiative and incorporating our Internet-of-things explorations into an increased focus on emerging technologies.