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Mozilla's Open Web App Store Will Launch Next Week

Users will be able to buy an app once and use it on any HTML5-enabled device, Mozilla says.

Earlier this month Mozilla laid out a roadmap for its Firefox browser over the course of 2012, and on Wednesday it made good on one key piece of those plans.

Specifically, the nonprofit announced that its long-anticipated Web app store will officially open for developer submissions when the Mobile World Congress exhibition kicks off next week.

"By building on open Web technologies like HTML5 and Mozilla-proposed APIs, the Mozilla Marketplace will enable developers to write one app that runs across devices and platforms," Mozilla explained in its announcement.

Users, meanwhile, will be able to buy an app once and use it on any HTML5-enabled device, it added.

With games, media, music, productivity apps, and more, the Mozilla Marketplace will open up to consumers later this year.

'Write Once, Deploy Everywhere'

The Mozilla Marketplace will be the first operating system- and device-independent market for apps based on open Web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, Mozilla says.

Essentially, it aims to close what Mozilla calls a "technology gap" between Web and native apps and offer an alternative to the platform-specific app ecosystems that currently dominate the mobile world.

Toward that end, the Mozilla Web Apps platform aims to implement a "write once, deploy everywhere" approach so as to reduce the cost of creating, versioning, and maintaining applications while enabling a truly open, standards-based Web.

Included in the platform are new, Mozilla-proposed APIs that will be submitted to the W3C for standardization along with a new identity system for the Web that "puts users in control of their content, tying apps to the user and not the device or platform," Mozilla says.

The Open Road

Also at Mobile World Congress, meanwhile, Mozilla will be showcasing projects including its open Boot to Gecko Web operating system for mobile devices and a preview of a new version of Firefox for Android that's faster and offers a personalized Web experience that can be synchronized across multiple devices, Mozilla says.

Given the highly divided, device-specific landscape of the mobile world, I'm full of hope that Mozilla will be able to succeed with its open, cross-platform approach to the mobile Web. Open is the way the mobile Web needs to be, and Mozilla is the natural leader in this area.

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