Mozilla Mobile for Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux

Oct 12, 2007

Mozilla is working on a Firefox browser for mobile devices and it looks likely that it will run on Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux.

Windows Mobile and Linux phones are likely to be the first devices to be able to use the browser, says Mozilla developer Doug Turner. These mobile operating systems have at least in part the same code as their counterparts for desktop computers. This makes it easier to develop a mobile version of the browser. This said, Symbian is vastly different from a desktop system and will mean more effort on the part of the developers. “But because Symbian has such a wide market, it may make sense to do that," Turner said.

Doug Turner has been working since 2000 on the Minimo project, a Mozilla browser for mobile devices, however, the project has stagnated recently: although Turner has completed maintenance work, no further developments have been forthcoming. A major blog entry by Mike Schroepfer, Vice President Mozilla Corporation, titled "Mozilla and Mobile" adds new impetus to the topic. In his blog, Schroepfer announces that Mozilla is working on a new mobile version of Firefox. He writes that a decision has not been taken on the platform, but based on the many responses to the web page, there seems to be heavy demand from Symbian users.

Turner also emphasizes the big advantage that keeping Firefox Mobile’s source open offers. Because developers all over the world will be able to contribute, he is convinced that it will be possible to migrate Firefox to Symbian or to any other mobile operating system, even if Mozilla does not contribute to this. As an example of a similar response, Turner quotes cases in which free developers have ported the desktop browser to legacy operating systems. The future mobile browser will be based on the new Mozilla2 platform, which is scheduled for release in 2009.

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