Mozilla quits Windows Mobile Firefox project

Mozilla has confirmed it is no longer working on a version of its Firefox Web browser for the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform, and is putting all of the blame on Microsoft.

“Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Phone 7 Series (not 6.5) and because we don’t know if it or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold,” said Start Parmenter, Mozilla developer, in a recent blog post.

Mozilla mistakenly put too much effort into developing a browser for 6.5, and Microsoft has decided to surprisingly not support native Windows Phone 7 Series apps.  Mozilla reportedly has spent the past year developing a version of Firefox for WinMo 6.5, which has all been wasted time as Microsoft will soon cease releasing phones on the antiquated mobile OS.

Mozilla quits Windows Mobile Firefox project

Until the dev kit is made available, Mozilla said it’d be a lost cause to try and continue development of the Firefox WinMo version.  Specifically, Microsoft is only supporting games built using XNA Game Studio, or apps developed in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 Series.

Mozilla will continue to develop a mobile Firefox for Maemo, as it aims to battle Opera mobile, which is a more popular third-party Web browser for phones.  I’d like to use Firefox on my RIM BlackBerry, but have had to settle with Opera — on the PC, however, I use Firefox and rarely use Opera.

I’m curious to see if Microsoft is willing to give developers access to a Windows Phone 7 Series development kit, which will give developers a real chance at making apps for the new platform.