We found out just a few days ago that Mozilla was plannng an event for their open source Boot2Gecko smartphone OS at Mobile World Congress, and today they have delivered. The open source browser company had a booth out at the conference with actual hardware running Boot2Gecko, and announced a few of their deployment partners in a blog post as well.
One of the main partners for the Open Web Devices project, which is based on Boot2Gecko, is mobile network operator Telefonica. The network provider will be working to provide Boot2Gecko powered smartphones to developing markets, using budget friendly smartphones. Developing markets aren't the only focus though, as Deutsche Telekom's Innovation Labs will also be helping Mozilla and Telefonica in their development and deployment of Boot2Gecko, presumably in Europe. However, the one partner that wasn't announced was a hardware manufacturer, so actual hardware availibility is still up in the air.
Despite not having an official hardware partner, Mozilla still managed to show off Boot2Gecko on none other than a specially modified Samsung Galaxy S II. As you can see in the video above, Boot2Gecko actually appears to work quite smoothly, and most basic smartphone features are present as well. The device will play games, browse the web, make phone calls, play videos, read ebooks, and even run Google Maps within its HTML5 enviornment. Not only that, with the exception of the somewhat rudamentary browser and keyboard, the remainder of the OS also looks very polished and clean, and it appears that Mozilla has put a lot of work into this interface. In fact, the latest builds of Boot2Gecko feature even more polished graphics not seen in this video, such as a beautiful homescreen with rectangular icons.
At first, I was really quite underwhelmed by Mozilla's browser-based mobile OS efforts. However, after seeing things in action, I am really beginning to get excited. Unlike Android, Mozilla develops Boot2Gecko completely in the open, and the newest code is always availible. Things like hardware and the app store need to be sorted out, but Boot2Gecko really seems to be picking up speed and moving in the right direction.[Ars Technica]