While mobile Firefox OS was certainly a difficult challenge, I don't think it would be as reckless on a desktop or laptop. I think it's dangerous for something like Chrome OS to become popular, and it is worth competing against. Would the OS like below be possible?
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I never saw Firefox OS in real life and I'm not sure that I've seen any screenshots.
It's a great idea @Anonymous and you're right, ChromeOS already is popular in some sectors like education and though you can buy some premium Chromebooks these days, a big motivator for people to buy Chromebooks is the price point.
In my head, rather than hardware, FIrefox OS would be just an operating system that you could download on to any machine, a bit like ChromeOS Flex, breathing life into older devices and running on new ones. It would be based on a stable version of Linux that allows Linux apps to run too.
But then I thought, what if, this OS ran on Raspberry Pi single board machines. There, you could have a Firefox powered Pi for £40 (£90 for the Pi400) maybe with a branded Firefox sticker set! You would then have a simple, safe computer for kids and adults that was priced well.
It's a big investment for Mozilla but you can see the advantages.
If this idea comes to fruition, I would like to suggest the name Inari. Inari is the Japanese god of agriculture and is believed that foxes are their messengers.
Originally, Japanese culture was grateful to foxes for hunting vermin, and it is believed that the myth was created as a result of their merging with deities from other countries.
I mean, that's kinda what Linux is for (Ubuntu, Arch etc) , and it's already a pretty well established project.
On a personal note, my PC is not upgradeable to Windows 11 and I am also considering other operating systems due to my frustration with the future of Windows. However, there are many otaku in Japan who proudly recommend Chrome OS to prolong the life of old PCs.
A computer with Chrome OS installed is no longer a personal computer, because there is no personal space. As @s1fly points out, the introduction of Chrome OS for educational purposes is an issue that cannot be ignored.
+1 on this.
I remember when FirefoxOS was announced and I thought it was going to be a ChromeOS alternative (and a bit disappointed when it turned out it was a mobile OS).
While "a linux distro with Firefox installed on it" might seem that it would do the job, that is not quite what ChromeOS (and thus a FirefoxOS alternative) would aim for. The entire point would be to hide from user the rest of the OS and just rely on the browser. I always think of ChromeOS and Chromebooks as the devices I would give my parents to use and trust that they won't be able to break it. Plus the integration with an ecosystem based on a single account (like a Firefox Account instead of a Google account) means that as a non-technical user, you have on thing you interact with (not the entire average Linux distro stack, of which the user would really only care about browser).
This is easier said than done and I understand why it's not being tackled (if it takes the size of Google to put a dent in the market with ChromeOS, I don't expect the development of a Desktop FIrefoxOS to be any cheaper). The challenge would actually be the integration with hardware vendors (just like it was with Mobile FirefoxOS). And I would guess that the goal would be to have a sort of FIrefoxOS Flex (so not something that only comes with a specific set of devices, but something install able on any hardware... but that is not easy).
Then again a lot of things evolved since. For example things like Flatpak in Linux world give a lot more power to non-admin users and projects like ostree would allow for more stability and integrity on the root-only side in order to make sure that the OS doesn't break.
I would really like to see Mozilla do this, but realistically they are (apparently) already under financial strain and they are more likely to cut projects than take on more big projects. Buy maybe this can be a project that can come from the community (I am sure there is some $element$animal OS name available out there :P).
@alexj Certainly the cooperation of hardware vendors is essential. For many users, the inability to use the hardware they want to use is fatal, and it will be difficult for Mozilla, which is losing influence as Firefox's market share declines, to solve this problem. Nevertheless, I still believe that it has more potential than any other organization.
@AnonymousI love that Inari name and the story behind it!
@alexjmakes some good points about ChromeOS really hiding everything away to make Chromebooks super easy to use. I've spent quite a bit of time with Chromebooks and the OS and I've found them to be perfect at minimizing distractions from the OS and let you get on with the task in hand. ChromeOS has the their three pillars of
And they will never deviate from that.
As an aside, if you're looking for an OS for your PC, take a look at Zorin OS. It's Ubuntu based but looks like Windows (there are other layouts too). I installed it on a laptop for controlling my coffee roaster and it's really good. It's stable, clean and I haven't needed to look at Terminal! It's no ChromeOS but it does keep everything tidy. Best bit is it'll run from a USB stick just to try it out.
Worth noting there is a free and paid for version, but I found the free one was more than sufficient and it has an Android service built-in making it easy to transfer files from a phone and back and it worked, first time!
We experienced a shortage of semiconductors that prevented us from purchasing hardware with sufficient specs. On top of that, I am facing the problem that PCs are getting more expensive due to Japan's economic problems. Therefore, it will be a great advantage for the OS not to be a burden on the hardware. Moreover, I cannot tolerate an OS like Windows 11 that will turn a large number of PCs into junk.
@s1fly I don't have the skills to handle a Linux-based OS, so Zorin OS is interesting.
I'm trying Zorin OS. The OS itself is stable; the UI is based on Windows and better than that. However, there are times when it is not possible to install and uninstall applications with the built-in software application. Failure to uninstall is especially annoying, and requires use of Terminal. Also, the built-in font application is unsatisfactory as it cannot install multiple files at once, it cannot uninstall, and it is slow and unstable.
Even Core edition consumes less memory than Windows and will be ablr to run on PCs with low spec. The setup is simple but has useful functions and tries to overcome the shortcomings of Windows. There is no need to use the terminal unless trouble occurs, and it can manage even with insufficient knowledge of Linux. If further perfection is achieved in future development, it can attract many users who cannot upgrade to Win11.