New Firefox OS Images Paint A Picture Of Progress Ahead Of Official Launch

The first Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) devices aren’t slated to ship until the beginning of next year, but if some new screenshots are any indication, the project is coming along rather nicely.

TechWeekEurope managed to get their hands on a whole host of new images of the fledgling open web-friendly operating system, though the version depicted may not be the version that every carrier gets.

For an operating system that’s meant to be loaded on low-end, Qualcomm-powered, introductory smartphones (at first, anyway), Firefox OS has turned out to be quite the looker. That said, it’s hard not to look for similarities between these new images and other mobile operating systems on the market, and there are a fair number to be found. The black status bar that runs along the top of the screen for instance seems rather iOS-esque, some of the typography is reminiscent of that seen in Windows Phone 7, and as Business Insider points out some apps have Android-y feeling about them.

In any case, things aren’t ready for primetime yet, but the featured build sports far more polish than the versions Mozilla has trotted out in the past few months. Just for a bit of perspective, compare these very early peeks at the project…

…to their updated counterparts:

In case the temptation to play with Firefox OS is just too strong to bear, fear not — Mozilla has you covered. Earlier this month, Mozilla team members released desktop-friendly versions of the OS to install and play with. There are a few caveats though, prime among them being the fact that getting things set up in the first can be a mite tricky unless you’re handy with a command line and are familiar with GitHub. What’s more, those builds are meant for developers and can’t be loaded up onto compatible smartphones or tablets, though that’s probably less of a concern for most people.

One thing to note though is that what you get in those nightly builds is slightly different than the images seen above. Though Mozilla didn’t respond at time of writing, it may be because the images given to TechWeekEurope are of a build loaded up with carrier customizations (possibly courtesy of early partner Telefonica), something that Mozilla has been very supportive of. Mozilla announced recently that it has locked up support from a handful of new carrier partners including Smart, Sprint, Etisalat, Telenor, and more, so there may be plenty more versions of Firefox OS to ogle shortly.

Update: A Mozilla spokesperson responded to my questions with the following statement:

“Those screenshots are of Firefox OS, but are outdated. We’ll share new images soon. As an open source company developing products in the open, you can expect to see in-progress mock ups and screenshots of all of our projects as they evolve. These are not any indication of the final product.”

So, they’re new to us, but not new as far as Mozilla is concerned. Given the reactions that some of you have had to the images, maybe that’s for the best.