Finally, Mozilla is waking up to the opportunities of mobile computing with the sort-of-because-it-happened-in-a-blog-post announcement of the company's plans for this space:

People ask us all the time about what Mozilla's going to do about the mobile web, and I'm very excited to announce that we plan to rock it. Here's some information about what we're planning to do with hiring, technology, partnerships, and products, and how you can get involved. Short summary: we are serious about bringing the Firefox experience and technology to mobile devices.

Just what are we announcing?

  • Mozilla will add mobile devices to the first class/tier-1 platform set for Mozilla2. This means we will make core platform decisions with mobile devices as first-class citizens.

  • We will ship a version of "Mobile Firefox" which can, among other things, run Firefox extensions on mobile devices and allow others to build rich applications via XUL.

  • Mozilla will expand its small team of full-time mobile contributors to focus on the technology and application needs of mobile devices.
This is, in my mind, a big development, and one that is overdue. Today, there are a number of mobile browsers, but Mobile Firefox should be able to do there what it's done on the desktop, quickly establish itself as the number one alternative to IE. Today, Pocket IE is eh at best. Safari is a joke compatibility-wise, and it only runs on 1/10th of one percent of all phones anyway. Technologically, the mobile version of Opera, or perhaps one of the many proprietary phone browsers out there is the only real competition Mozilla faces. This can't happen quickly enough.