Mozilla readies app marketplace for public beta

Mozilla Marketplace, which is Mozilla's entrant in the online application store arena, is set to move to a public beta stage in a few weeks, a company official said on Tuesday.

The browser-accessible marketplace will feature applications built using Web development technologies, including HTML5 for structure; Cascading Style Sheets for layout, visual aesthetics, and visual behaviors; and JavaScript for logical implementation. The store will accept multiple types of applications and is not limited to mobile device software, said Mozilla's Joe Stagner, at the AnDevCon III conference in Burlingame, Calif. Mozilla announced in February that the marketplace was open for developer submissions.

Mozilla Marketplace, Stagner said, will offer developers hundreds of millions of more users than the rival Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It also will feature a liberal application submission process. "There's a very quick screening process," with restrictions on illegal software, pornography, and software that infringes copyrights or trademarks, Stagner said.

While the store can be accessed via any browser, runtime software providing a more feature-rich native install experience initially will only be supported on Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla hopes other browsers will eventually support it. Mozilla anticipates generating revenues through the store via advertising and taking a cut of payments for applications sold, though developers could use their own payment system.

Mozilla wants to make Mozilla Marketplace generally available later this year, following the beta period. Source code will be released for the marketplace. "We're going to publish the source code for the marketplace, so if anybody wants to set up their own marketplace, they can do that, too," Stagner said.

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