Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs wants programmers and device manufacturers to focus their efforts on creating HTML 5 based products rather than isolating the technology environment to specific mobile apps. Speaking at CTIA on Thursday Kovacs said users do not want to be shackled to an app ecosystem and will embrace freedom of choice.
In a nice analogy Kovacs points to a time when AOL controlled the internet but eventually lost out as users because to realize they could navigate the world wide web without AOL’s proprietary software.
“In the early days of AOL we were within their walls,” he said. “And it all worked great until it didn’t.”
As the Mozilla CEO rightfully points out, it was when the web became open that it was allowed to progress into a much bigger machine.
While his Firefox browser is among the most popular in the world Kovacs admits that his company and others allowed Apple to create the current mobile app infrastructure when browser company’s should have been looking for ways to open up a users mobile device to applications via HTML 5 and other programming standards.
“We’ve been bad at innovating for mobile,” he said. “All we’ve done is shrinkage.”
The truth as they say is in the pudding and Mozilla’s own researcher has shown that only 10 percent of websites are mobile optimized these days, while he expected HTML 5 to be available on more than 2 billion devices by 2016 via better, more secure browsers.
Whether or not another big platform shift will occur anytime soon is anybody’s guess but as users change their Smartphones on a regular basis it is highly likely that users would embrace a more open ecosystem if given the chance.
I leave you with what is perhaps Kovacs best statement from his speech:
“The reason we could plug our computers into the wall and get access to the Internet in first place is because we agreed on a simple standard. We need this same agreement today for mobile.”