Mozilla Marketplace goes live, install web apps like native PC apps

Mozilla has launched an early version of an app store for web-based apps. It’s called Mozilla Marketplace, and it’s designed to be a place where you can find web-based software that you can install on a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine just as if you were installing a desktop app.

Right now there are fewer than 200 apps available and you’ll need to install the latest Firefox 16 Nightly build in order to try the Marketplace. But the apps I’ve tried out have all worked as delivered, and there are a few names you might recognize including Evernote, Springpad, Jolicloud, and Lord of Ultima.

Mozilla Marketplace

In some ways the Mozilla Marketplace is the company’s answer to Google’s Chrome Web Store. But while the Chrome Web Store is a one-stop shop for finding apps and extensions to install, the Mozilla Marketplace goes a little further by essentially turning web apps into desktop apps.

When you install a Marketplace app on a Windows computer, for instance, it shows up in your list of installed programs. You can launch the utility or game directly from the Start Menu. And you can use the Windows uninstaller to remove the app from your PC.

Apps open in standalone Firefox browser windows. While you’re basically just using Firefox to open a website, the apps look more like native desktop apps because they don’t have all the Firefox menus around the edges.

via Hacker News and Browsomatic

  • someone

    I’ve tinkered with the Chrome Web Store and decided it was only useful, if I were say running Chrome OS. I don’t see the point of installing a webpage as a application… Which I’ve been able to do for years not just making shortcuts, or pinning sites to the taskbar, and I don’t even do that.

    • http://twitter.com/kumar303 Kumar McMillan

      that’s exactly why the Mozilla Marketplace exists: we believe you should install (or buy) an app once then be able to run it on all of your HTML5 platforms. An app you buy from the marketplace isn’t limited to Firefox, it works on any modern HTML5 environment including Chrome and IE9. You get a rich experience by running an app in our native bootstrap for Mac, Windows, and Linux. You also get a rich experience in Boot To Gecko (an upcoming mobile OS written in HTML5/JS). Web browser bookmarks can’t do that and Chrome OS isn’t trying to do that.

  • UGottaBKidding

    Did they happen to mention the point in this exercise? ‘Cause frankly, I don’t get it . . .

    • CyberGusa

      Pushing cloud computing and Mozilla is basically competing with Google Chrome.

      Mainly benefits the developers as they can make one app that will work on any device with a web browser but users can benefit from easy to run apps that also scale with the device they use. So they can often use it on their phones and then switch to their laptop or desktop and continue using the same app.

      Think of it as the alternative solution to an all in one OS like Windows 8 is trying to be.

      Capabilities, performance, and features will just be limited like all mobile and web apps usually are… but the idea is basically setting the ground work for when cloud computing gets more practical and we can start running more powerful applications online… much like we’re already doing with gaming with services like OnLive.

  • swift11

    Good article, but you should have mentioned that HTML5 apps will be “native” on Tizen and B2G.

  • ta2025

    I don’t see how to access the marketplace unless you are developer? I get a message that says “Check back soon”. and yes, I did use Firefox Nightly 16 to access.