Mozilla mulls online services

Mozilla is considering joining the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple and developing a suite of online services.

Mozilla mulls online services

“It seems that as the web continues to evolve and as more of our lives moves online, we could do more to broker even richer online experiences,” writes Chris Beard, general manager of Mozilla Labs on his blog.

“We’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And, in particular, how the blending of the desktop and the web-through deeper integration of the browser with online services-could further enhance the user experience, increase user control over personal information, and provide new opportunities for developers to build innovative online experiences.”

Beard goes on to note that web services aren’t currently designed to integrate with the browser, something he believes is harming the user experience. His solution is for Mozilla to create an open extensible framework, like that employed in Firefox, which would provide a basic set of Mozilla-hosted services and a platform on which other developers could add services using freely available tools.

Beard gives the example of being able to synchronise profile data between computers, or providing tools for interacting with social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.

He acknowledges that all this can be done today, but not without problems.

“Even though these sorts of things are possible today with existing tools, it requires considerable bespoke development and implementation of things [network operations, data synchronisation, encryption, messaging and identity management for example] that should be common and provided by the platform,” Beard explains.

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