Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mozilla halts Firefox development on Windows Mobile

Citing lack of native application support on Microsoft's new smartphone platform, Mozilla has halted development for Windows Phone. Microsoft has previously announced that there will be no native applications on Windows Phone 7 series, only interpreted or managed code through the two runtime environments provided by Silverlight and XNA.
While we think Windows Phone 7 looks interesting and has the potential to do well in the market, Microsoft has unfortunately decided to close off development to native applications. Because of this, we won’t be able to provide Firefox for Windows Phone 7 at this time. Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Mobile 7 (not 6.5) and because we don’t know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold.
One would think that Microsoft would have learned from the debacle that was webOS. webOS relied on third-party developers to code in JavaScript which, also interpreted, meant apps running on those devices were slow, slow, and slower.

Of course, Microsoft has said it will make exceptions, and allow some access to the native APIs, which do exist. It's also possible that interpreted code on Windows Phone 7 series will be efficient at operating.

At any rate, Palm opened up native application development recently, and Mozilla only decided to do an Android version after Google opened up native development for Android. It is, therefore, possible that development yet restart.

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