What developers are saying about the Firefox phone

With devices already available to app makers, Mozilla is getting a lot of feedback on its technology and strategy through social media

While the IT industry applauded the launch announcements for a Firefox Phone by ZTE, Alcatel, LG and Huawei at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, this week, developers have already been talking about how Mozilla's operating system and device effort will change the app world.

In a recent post on his personal blog, developer David Walsh drew attention to the announcement of a test device available for purchase from Geeksphone, which is using a Firefox OS Simulator that can be used to test apps. Walsh noted some major differences in the approach to apps taken by open source supporters Mozilla and the more traditional Apple and Google.

"Mozilla doesn't hold users hostage when it comes to installing new apps; instead of needing to jump over to the device's app store app, Mozilla providesJavaScript API for installing web apps from any allowed domains," he wrote. "It's incredibly liberating to allow installation from outside an app store; no more tyranny, no more unnecessary proprietary crap."

Of course, not everyone in the developer community has been excited by the news of an orange handset with its own platform. Since initial devices Keon and Peak were first released to developers, the reaction has been decidedly mixed.

Where the developer community is more used to splashy product launches from the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Mozilla's more subtle introduction caught some off-guard.

Of course, it's probably worth remembering that it took a while for Firefox to gain a loyal following. Even before the phones and apps become widely available, there are signs that a conversion is well under way.