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Mozilla Marketplace Going Public Beta Soon, Says Exec

At the AnDevCon III conference in Burlingame, California, Mozilla's Joe Stagner said that the Mozilla Marketplace will enter into public beta mode in a few weeks.

Apps features on this virtual storefront will be built using HTML5 for structure, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for layout, visual aesthetics and behaviors, and JavaScript for logical implementation. That said, these apps will run on any operating system granted it uses an HTML5-supporting browser -- a write once, deploy anywhere scenario. It also means developers could possibly have "hundreds of millions" more users than rival Apple App Store and Google Play because device platform issues are seemingly nonexistent.

But there's a drawback: most HTML5 apps are dependent on the Internet. That means users can't play Angry Birds or CityVille without a connection -- unless it has an offline install feature, that is. And given this is a Mozilla app store, users will need to install Firefox on their device, following in the footsteps of Google and its Chrome browser-only Chrome Web Store. Mozilla hopes that rival browsers will eventually support the company's new HTML5 app market.

Mozilla threw open the doors to its Marketplace for developers back in February during World Mobile Congress 2012. "The Web is the largest platform in the world. We are enabling the Web to be the marketplace, giving developers the opportunity to play on the biggest playing field imaginable," said Todd Simpson, Mozilla’s Chief of Innovation during the event. "By building the missing pieces, Mozilla is now unlocking the potential of the Web to be the platform for creating and consuming content everywhere."

With the public beta launching in a few weeks, Mozilla is hoping to officially go live with the storefront later this year. Even more, Stagner said that Mozilla will release the source code so that anyone can set up their own marketplace. Symantec will reportedly maintaining application security keys for Android applications thanks to its Symantec Android Code Signing Service, taking the burden off the developers.

On Wednesday, Stagner said that Mozilla will generate revenue from the Marketplace through advertisements and getting a cut from each app sale. Developers will also be allowed to use their own payment system.