Mozilla Mobile Team Technical Lead Stuart Parmenter has announced that Mozilla has suspended development of its mobile version of Firefox, codenamed Fennec for Windows Phone Classic and Windows Phone Series 7 Â due to the direction that Microsoft has taken with Windows Phone Series 7 and its lack of support for native code development. Â Below is his statement on the matter:
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 wonâ€™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 donâ€™t know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold.
Mozilla, along with other major software developers had been observing Microsoft’s MIX10 conference last week and came away with the same impression that PhoneNews.com editorialized after the major wave of announcements signaled a shift away from the open platform that Microsoft touted as its trump card for Windows Phone Classic, into the Apple-alike closed excosystem that is Windows Phone Series 7.
Mozilla will also suspend development of the Windows Phone Classic version of Fennec, as it is now seen as a dead end in terms of active software development by many large and small developers alike, despite the fact that no Windows Phone Series 7 devices will be launched before the holiday season. This leaves Microsoft in the awkward position of transitioning from the platform that has given rise to the success of former ODMs turned full manufacturing houses such as HTC and has driven the growth of a thriving enthusiast/professional community centered around software development, to an unproven platform that has yet to gain widespread support from enthusiasts, developers or consumers alike.