Mozilla has laid off the team that were working on bringing Firefox OS to connected devices. This move means that approximately 50 people are affected. The senior vice president Ari Jaaksi who is heading up the project is included in those who are leaving.
Mozilla intended to improve user’s web experience by making the browser available to all devices. This plan is now defunct.
Mozilla shifted approach
The layoffs greatly affect the nonprofit organisation’s ability to make Firefox popular again. It has been overshadowed by Google’s Chrome despite once being a leader. Mozilla tried to take the web technology powering Firefox to other devices, but struggled to get acceptance. Its shrinking influence comes at a time when more people are browsing the internet on their phones. This is an area where Firefox is particularly weak.
In a statement to CNET Mozilla have said “We have shifted our internal approach to the internet-of-things opportunity. We have had 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,”
Mozilla abandoned it’s attempt to offer an alternative to Android’s platform for open web apps on low-end smartphones. They passed the Firefox OS project to it’s ‘connected devices’ team in 2013.
Firefox, like Microsoft and Blackberry has failed to charm enough customers away from Android.
The company saw record revenues in 2015 despite their difficulties in the low uptake of the mobile browser. They were unable to move past the desktop browser which is now overshadowed by Chrome