Clearly, we hope Firefox OS in itself helps a lot of people. But here’s the real mission:
In this sense, Firefox OS is as much a project to improve the Web as it is a project to build a new mobile operating system. Every Firefox OS API Mozilla can get adopted by other major browsers makes it easier for developers to convert vanilla Web apps into “native” Firefox OS apps, and vice versa. Even if Mozilla’s OS never gains significant market share, the effort to flesh out a complete set of Web standards for mobile computing will help to push the Web forward.
Firefox OS could have a big impact on the Web even if it never gains significant market share. By pushing the Web forward, Mozilla is helping to ensure that mobile websites will continue to be relevant even as developers create hundreds of thousands of proprietary apps. Firefox could lose the battle for the smartphone OS market but still win the war for open standards.