"I think this is just too late to have any meaningful share," said Jack Gold of J.Gold Associates, in an email reply to questions. "They talk low-cost and minimal resources, but how is this different than Android moving downstream? [And] Intel/Nokia have gone this route too ... remember MeeGo, now Tizen? ... and it went nowhere quickly."
MeeGo was an Intel-backed operating system that has been merged into the Linux-based Tizen mobile operating system. The latter is also backed by Samsung.
Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, was more optimistic about Firefox OS.
"Mozilla's timing is great, given the precipitous declines in BlackBerry and Symbian, and the protracted reboot of the Windows Phone platform," Hilwa said in an email Tuesday. "It makes sense [for Mozilla and the carriers] to hit first with the international markets which are more competitive and price-sensitive. You can argue the market as a whole would like more choices than just Apple and Android."
But even Hilwa had doubts. "Carriers are obviously the gateways for operating systems, and nothing will happen without their support," he noted. "Their support, however, may not be enough. A strong ecosystem around a standardized mobile Web platform has to be cultivated."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com. See more articles by Gregg Keizer.
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