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Mozilla shifts focus from connected devices, layoffs entire Firefox OS team

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Mozilla

While its rivals like Apple, Google and Microsoft are rigorously working to gain in the nascent IoT space, Mozilla is moving apart from the connected device 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 internet-of-things explorations into an increased focus on emerging technologies,” the company stated.

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

Mozilla was lately planning to leverage its efforts by moving the direction of Firefox OS — from the smartphone market to the IoT avenue. But now, it is set to step back from the commercial connected device developments.

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 served as general manager and senior vice president of the mobile business unit at Intel.

Good news for Google

The newest move by Mozilla would indirectly be an affirmative step for Google. It is likely to give the search giant a reason to boost its developments around open source IoT offerings. The company already has Android Things as its platform for connected devices that would persuade developers and hardware makers to build advanced solutions in the coming future.