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Mozilla shifts focus from connected devices; lays off entire Firefox OS team


While its rivals like Apple, Google and Microsoft are rigorously working to gain momentum in the nascent IoT space, Mozilla is moving away from the connected devices market. The open source behemoth is laying off the 50-member team behind Firefox OS to reduce managerial expenses.

Mozilla has released a statement to confirm the latest developmen­t. “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 IoT exploratio­ns into an increased focus on emerging technologi­es,” the company stated.

Firefox OS was a dream project from Mozilla to take on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. But a few years after its first commercial release in 2013, the platform left the smartphone world (in December 2015). In September 2016, the company formally stopped developmen­t of new Firefox OS smartphone­s.

Mozilla had subsequent­ly planned to leverage the Firefox OS to impact the IoT space. But now, it is set to step out of that space too.

Technology website CNet reports that Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president and leader of the connected devices division, is among the departing members. Prior to Mozilla, Jaaksi was general manager and senior vice president of the mobile business unit at Intel.

This latest move by Mozilla would indirectly lead to Google boosting its developmen­ts around open source IoT offerings. The company already has Android Things as its platform for connected devices, which will persuade developers and hardware makers to build advanced solutions in the coming future.

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