Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla
2013 promises to be a big year for mobile operating systems and for Mozilla as the company as it prepares to launch its highly anticipated HTML5-based Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) this year. The company is prepping for its launch by rolling out preview phones running the Firefox OS, enabling developers to test drive the OS prior to its commercial rollout.
Gary Kovacs, who has been CEO of Mozilla since 2010, will be at the center of this initiative. Formerly an executive at Sybase, Kovacs has roots in the mobile industry from his days as president of mobile and devices at Adobe Systems. Kovacs will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, and we expect Mozilla to make a splash at the show with its Firefox mobile OS.
Of course, Firefox does have a bit of an uphill battle. The company is late to the mobile OS game and is facing tough competition from some of the biggest names in technology including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Although many developers have high hopes for the HTML5-based OS, it's unclear how much demand there is for another smartphone operating system.
Nevertheless, Firefox promises a new phone architecture that relies entirely on the Web to enable HTML5 applications with complete access to core device APIs. The OS has sparked interest from key operators such as Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Telecom Italia and Telenor.
Kovacs has a big job ahead as he champions this new mobile OS and generates excitement for it among operators, developers and handset makers.