Mozilla is showcasing its operating system at the on-going CES 2013. According to The Verge, the operating system looks much more fleshed out now, compared to when it was showcased in February 2012 at MWC.
According to Mozilla, the operating system is two weeks from being completed and is aimed at low-end, low-cost devices. The operating system will be restricted to single-core 800MHz processors when it launches.
The Firefox OS UI seems very similar to that of Android (image credit: The Verge)
The interface of the operating system seems to follow the same general style as that of Android with a homescreen and an app drawer. The major difference between both the OSes is that Firefox OS runs on HTML5. This leads to most of the operating system's apps simply being websites. While there is an app store planned for the OS, apps can be found through the search engine of the OS.
Aesthetically, the OS seems to have a cartoon-y visual style with big round and colourful icons. This shouldn't detract from the OS itself though, as it seems to have the potential to become one of the bigger players in the OS market.
The OS is set to launch on phones developed by Mozilla's manufacturing partners, like ZTE, in emerging markets later this year.
If you want to try out Firefox OS on your own device, you can check out the nightly builds that were made available back in July. The builds on Mozilla’s website provide an x86 compatible Boot2Gecko runtime for testing the Gaia shell and applications that are built for the platform. It’s a very useful tool for Gaia contributors and developers who want to start building apps for the devices coming next year.
Interested users will have to do some configuration to get the software to run. The process involves obtaining the latest code of Gaia from GitHub and generating a profile to use in the environment. The steps to be followed are well-documented on the Gaia Hacking page of the Mozilla Wiki.