Mozilla readies app marketplace for public beta

Mozilla Marketplace will be online in a few weeks to take on Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Mozilla Marketplace, which is Mozilla's entrant in the online application store arena, is set to move to a public beta stage in a few weeks, a company official said on Tuesday.

The browser-accessible marketplace will feature applications built using Web development technologies, including HTML5 for structure; Cascading Style Sheets for layout, visual aesthetics, and visual behaviors; and JavaScript for logical implementation. The store will accept multiple types of applications and is not limited to mobile device software, said Mozilla's Joe Stagner, at the AnDevCon III conference in Burlingame, Calif. Mozilla announced in February that the marketplace was open for developer submissions.

[ Also in the Android vein this week, Xamarin began offering an Android designer that works with Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter for more analysis in the software development space. ]

Mozilla Marketplace, Stagner said, will offer developers hundreds of millions of more users than the rival Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It also will feature a liberal application submission process. "There's a very quick screening process," with restrictions on illegal software, pornography, and software that infringes copyrights or trademarks, Stagner said.

While the store can be accessed via any browser, runtime software providing a more feature-rich native install experience initially will only be supported on Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla hopes other browsers will eventually support it. Mozilla anticipates generating revenues through the store via advertising and taking a cut of payments for applications sold, though developers could use their own payment system.

Mozilla wants to make Mozilla Marketplace generally available later this year, following the beta period. Source code will be released for the marketplace. "We're going to publish the source code for the marketplace, so if anybody wants to set up their own marketplace, they can do that, too," Stagner said.

Also at AnDevCon, Symantec announced Symantec Android Code Signing Service, a cloud-based service for maintaining application security keys for Android applications. Development teams would no longer have to bear this responsibility. The service costs $499 per year and may be expanded in the future to include capabilities such as application vulnerability scanning.

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