With those changes, there's little likelihood that developers who have crafted Firefox OS apps will bother to make more, or update what they have created.
The turn to IoT has not been entirely clarified, as Roter admitted. In particular, Roter said that Mozilla is still working on opening that line of development to volunteers, who have been a critical part of the creation of Firefox and other projects the organization has sponsored.
"We're hoping to open up this formal innovation process to non-staff participation in the first half of the year," Roter said. "The tricky part of this is how to navigate volunteer involvement in the inevitable reality of projects that don't pass gates in the development cycle being wound-down quickly."
Many of the 80-plus comments appended to Roter's message were from volunteers who had worked on Firefox OS, or from Firefox OS smartphone owners. Not surprisingly, they were almost unanimously unhappy, especially at the death of a project that they had contributed to, believed in, and saw as turning a corner.
The shift in strategy and the way it was communicated also caught flak.
"I read above the following: 'We're entering this exciting, fragmented [IoT] space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions, and for us to act as their advocates for data privacy and security,'" said Daniel Glazman in one comment.
"Could we please stop that corporate bullshit that has no dignity? You're Mozilla, for God's sake, and I wish you could stop speaking like a Coca-Cola executive announcing they're closing a soda plant," Glazman continued. "Mozilla's moving to IoT because Firefox OS for phones seems too slow and buggy, keeping focus on it costs too much, and can't trigger both a revenue stream and market share gains for Gecko, period."
Mozilla will pull all non-Firefox OS apps from Marketplace, its online Web app store, on March 29. Credit: Firefox
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.