Mobile Version of Firefox Coming… but Not Soon

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The CEO of the Mozilla Foundation recently said that there will be a mobile version of the Firefox web browser released at some point, but it wouldn’t be out anytime in the near future.

"The Mozilla Foundation’s mission in life is to improve Internet experience, and that is increasingly on devices other than PCs," said Mitchell Baker in an interview with APC Magazine.

Like other companies that have built mobile browsers — like Microsoft, Palm, and Opera — Mozilla is struggling to find ways to display web pages that were created for a desktop monitor on a smartphone’s or handheld’s small screen.

A PC Companion

According to Baker, the company is looking into ways a mobile version of Firefox could interact with a version on a desktop or laptop.

We have an experiment underway which is clearly a PC-centric experiment related to mobiles (so this is not a pure mobile strategy), but we are experimenting with the relationship between Firefox users and their mobile devices. We know people like Firefox because of the add-ons and the customisation and the ability to get particular information that you want through Firefox and extensions.

So the experiment that’s underway is called Joey – we are looking at how you can take information that people like to access and deliver it to a mobile device. Clearly you can go to the web and you can SMS yourself various things … but what else could be done? If you have Firefox, you already have the ability to customise it and gather certain kinds of information, so what could you do with that so that being a Firefox user makes your mobile experience better.

Whatever the Mozilla Foundation comes up with, its release will be well in the future. Baker seems to be thinking in terms of at least a year, as she warns that a mobile version of Firefox "it is not in the next weeks or months."

The full interview can be found on the APC Magazine web site.

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