Another Elbow For Microsoft: Mozilla Launches Mobile Firefox Effort

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Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for Mozilla (maker of Firefox web browser that roughly 34 percent of you are using), says the organization will be working hard to develop mobile solutions:

People ask us all the time about what Mozilla's going to do about the mobile web, and I'm very excited to announce that we plan to rock it.

Some more detail:

* Mozilla will add mobile devices to the first class/tier-1 platform set for Mozilla2. This means we will make core platform decisions with mobile devices as first-class citizens.

* We will ship a version of "Mobile Firefox" which can, among other things, run Firefox extensions on mobile devices and allow others to build rich applications via XUL.

* Mozilla will expand its small team of full-time mobile contributors to focus on the technology and application needs of mobile devices. In particular two new folks just joined:

** Christian Sejersen, recently the head of browsers at Openwave which has shipped over 1 billion mobile browsers, joined Mozilla Monday. He'll be heading up the platform engineering effort and setting up a R&D center in Copenhagen, Denmark.

** Brad Lassey just joined Mozilla from France Telecom R&D. He's already been an active contributor to our mobile efforts and can now focus on Mozilla mobile full time.

These folks will accelerate the tremendous work already done by Doug Turner, Chris Hofmann and the entire Mozilla community. The efforts in mobile will be magnified by all aspects of our kick-ass community in everything from testing, to UI design, to core engineering. Together we will accelerate the development and use of mobile-ready Mozilla technology.

What's the magnitude of this? Mozilla has built Firefox into a market share monster, which has taken more than one-third of the Web Browser market despite almost no marketing, no major PC vendor support and no mainstream press. By launching a hard effort into the mobile space, it could be throwing up some hard elbows at Microsoft, which is grappling to counter Apple's launch into the mobility space with the iPhone.

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