Mozilla Unveils Cross-browser Open Web Apps Store Prototype; Google’s Chrome Store to Launch in November

Written By Sam on 20 October 2010

The launch of Google’s Chrome Web Store is around the corner and Mozilla is looking to counter it with ‘Open Web Apps. The developer preview prototype of its Open Web Apps Store has been released and will run in all supported browsers, including:

  • Firefox 3.6 and later
  • Firefox for mobile
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Chrome 6
  • Safari 5
  • Opera 10
  • WebKit mobile

We cannot miss the ‘Open’ in its name and assume it will come with additional benefits for the open source community. Simpy put, this one extends the Web Store idea to all desktop and mobile modern browsers.

Key features Open Web Apps:

  • Built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Can be ‘installed’ to a dashboard within your mobile or desktop Web browser, or to your native OS desktop or mobile home screen.
  • Work in all modern Web browsers, while enabling each browser to compete on app presentation, organization and management user interfaces.
  • Support paid apps by means of an authorization model that uses existing identity systems like OpenID.
  • Support portable purchases: An app purchased for one browser works in other browsers, and across multiple desktop and mobile platforms without repurchase.
  • Can request access to one or more advanced and/or privacy-sensitive capabilities that they would like access to (like Geolocation) which the system will mediate, giving the user the ability to opt-in to them if desired.
  • Can be distributed by developers directly to users without any gatekeeper, and distributed through multiple stores, allowing stores to compete on customer service, price, policies, app discoverability, ratings, reviews and other attributes.
  • Can receive notifications from the cloud.
  • Support deep search across apps: Apps can implement an interface that enables the app container (generally the Web browser) to provide the user with a cross-app search experience that links deeply into any app that can satisfy the search.

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