For those too young to remember, the now famous quote from the fictional 1987 Oliver Stone film Wall Street, “Greed is Good” became the religion of those seeking quick fortune. After all, its main antagonist Gordon Gecko asserts that greed spurs competition, investment, innovation and so forth. Mozilla, creators of the open-source Firefox web browser, has a different view. And like all good radicals taking on their perceived Goliath, Mozilla is out to knock down monolithic technologies they feel are strangling healthy innovation.
As reported on bbc.com, the project is dubbed “Boot to Gecko.” Mozilla’s aim is to get applications running without the need of their browser by adding a wrapper around parts of Android. And viola! A new Mobile OS that runs on devices that now handle Android.
You could almost draw the same greed parallels to the mini-boom forming around tech these days; none more so apparent than the battles occurring on the mobile OS front. Tech players are fighting furiously to position themselves as the dominant player in the v2.0 mobile ecosystem. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are clearly outpacing others—for now—but Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will be making its next play this fall with a joint Nokia device. Blackberry is still battling, but is faring much worse than the others.
It sure beats the old days of Microsoft vs. Mac OS wars, with a little Linux on the side…oh, wait a minute. Who won that again? Linux toiled away as an open source OS alternative that ironically later become part of the core software of the re-boot of the Mac OS into the X generation. Microsoft crushed Apple in the PC wars, yet found itself in-turn crushed by the Apple iPhones and iPads.
Apple is clearly the darling of the mobile industry right now. It has carefully cultured an image from its Mac days and famous 1984 commercial that depicted them as the radical upstart going against the monopoly of IBM. Now, it increasingly appears they have become what they at one railed against. Greed certainly is good when stock plays in the $400-range, however, I would argue it is more about the pursuit of perfection that spurs Steve Jobs, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Amazon, as well as many other companies providing apps for iOS recently caved into Apple’s demands to remove their company’s online store links from the mobile apps. This clealry shows how much fear they have of Apple’s marketplace dominance and respect for its Midas touch.
It’s likely this very action and others like it, as well as the strict control Apple keeps over its proprietary technology and intellectual rights that is raising the ire of the Mozzilla community. And why not? Without the so-called radicals of their own personal computer revolution days, Steve jobs and Bill gates, we may not even be having this discussion today. Maybe Mozilla is the next big player. With a name like Gecko, what could go wrong?
Written by Steve Frazier – Copywriter Jedi