Mozilla is taking on the Chromecast with its own media streaming stick

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, is working on a stream stick set to directly compete with the Apple TV and other similar products, according to GigaOm. The device runs Mozilla’s own Firefox OS, originally designed for smartphones, and is apparently referred to as “Netcast” within the Firefox browser. Unlike Apple’s current offering, the Netcast would allow developers to integrate the technology into applications on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware devices, including many platforms not currently supported by the Apple’s AirPlay feature. In a statement to GigaOm, Mozilla noted that anyone is welcome to work with Firefox OS and that hardware running that system does not necessarily have to come from that company.

Google’s Chromecast streaming stick could soon get competition from an unexpected source: Mozilla has secretly been working with a partner on a Chromecast-like streaming stick that is powered by Firefox OS. The project was supposed to be under wraps for at least a few more weeks, but Thursday, news started to leak out when a Mozilla evangelist tweeted a photo of a prototype of the device. I’ve been tracking this project for some time. I’ve talked to sources directly involved, and actually was able to get my hands on one of the prototype devices that are currently being shared with a very small circle of developers. There are still lots of unanswered questions about this project; the device doesn’t have a name yet, it’s not exactly clear when it will go on sale, for how much, or in which markets, and I don’t know the name of the company that will eventually make or sell the hardware. What I do know is that it is an ambitious project that aims to combine Mozilla’s commitment to openness with a Chromecast-like media streaming device. And here’s the biggest surprise: The prototype I had access to not only works like Chromecast, it actually is capable of running some Chromecast apps.

 

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