Were you getting excited about the forthcoming Windows Mobile version of Firefox? Well, forget it kid, because Mozilla has just announced that it’s scrapping the whole project. Despite being in the works for some time, development of the Windows Mobile version Fennec (a.k.a Firefox Mobile) has now stopped – and it’s all Microsoft’s fault, says Mozilla.
According to Stuart Parmenter, technical lead, Firefox Mobile, it will be impossible for Mozilla to develop the app for new Windows Phones 7 platform due to the way Microsoft has closed off development to native applications. In a frank blog post, Parmenter says that Mozilla had been expecting a native development kit with the new OS, and now that’s not been forthcoming, Fennec for Windows Mobile is being put on hold.
While we think Windows Phone 7 looks interesting and has the potential to do well in the market, Microsoft has unfortunately decided to close off development to native applications. Because of this, we won’t be able to provide Firefox for Windows Phone 7 at this time. Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Mobile 7 (not 6.5) and because we don’t know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold.
In a subtle dig in the ribs of Microsoft, Parmenter goes on to say that he and his team will use the knowledge they gained from working on the Windows Mobile version to help with development of Fennec on other mobile platforms. Perhaps when Microsoft sees Firefox running on Maemo and Android it might rue its decision not to open up to native development. Or then again, it’s plan all along could’ve been to wipe out anything that might compete with the native IE app in Windows 7 Phones.