Mozilla, best known as the developer of the Firefox browser, plans to develop a marketplace for apps that run across a variety of desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets, putting the web at the center of the experience. It’s a challenge to app stores for individual families of devices, such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Kindle Fire.
“Mozilla believes that the web is *the* platform and the entire web should be your marketplace,” reads one of the documents, after outlining the challenges that proprietary app ecosystems create for developers and users.
Among the problems inherent to closed app stores: A loss of control for developers, and the inability for users to use apps across different environments and devices.
Mozilla’s timing makes sense. The potential for the web to blunt the momentum of closed app stores reflects the rise of HTML5 and other technologies that can make cross-platform web apps similar in quality to those built for specific devices and operating systems.
Mozilla says in another strategy document, “Through this Marketplace, developers will be able to distribute and monetize their apps. Users will be able to find, install and use their Apps across all of their devices, regardless of the underlying device/OS platforms. This Marketplace will also be a single destination where users can find both cross-platform Apps and Firefox extensions.”