The battle for the hearts and minds of web app developers took another turn last week after Firefox creator Mozilla announced the availability of the developer's kit for its Open Web Applications platform.
The firm is hoping to emulate the success of Apple and Google by giving developers the chance to create applications that work across mobile and desktop devices.
This will mean that, rather than a closed ecosystem such as Apple's, where a developer can only build apps for its iOS platform for devices like the iPhone or iPad, Mozilla developers can offer apps that run on any device, which could attract many more users.
So a developer could create an app that lets you use stored information from several credit cards so a user could select the appropriate one when paying for goods, rather than storing them in each individual site.
Or a user could add widgets for applications to the browser, such as Spotify, rather than having to have the application open on the desktop as well.
Ragavan Srinivasan, product manager for sync, services and apps at Mozilla, detailed the availability of the kit that includes the APIs, developer utilities and documentation for the creation of apps in a blog posting last week.
"We are excited to announce the availability of the first milestone release of Mozilla's Web Application project. Web Apps are applications that run on any device, and can be distributed through any store or directly by the developer," he said.
Srinivasan added that in the coming weeks Mozilla will add the ability to sync web apps to mobile devices, and offer support for native browser controls and integration with other operating systems.
Google has also launched a closed application system for netbooks adding more fuel to the debate between closed and open platforms, with many arguing that open environments will win by improving the user experience.
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