Samsung-Galaxy-s3

Samsung and Mozilla Are Working on Their Own Mobile Browser Engine

April 3, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

More than ever, it looks like the web is going to be the future of computing and of course, the mobile web will be pushing that more than anything else. For instance, open up that Ultrabook or head to your Desktop, and then see how much you do outside of the browser. Take me, for example, there are around 3 apps I use outside of Google Chrome on a daily basis, Steam, Origin and Minecraft. Everything else I get done inside of Chrome, and I’m not even a typical user, I like to play games with a mouse and keyboard, weird right?

So, with users relying on the web more than anything else these days, it stands to reason that companies will want to invest more in making the most of the web on their devices. To that end, Samsung has teamed up with Mozilla to work on their own browser engine, named “Servo” it’s being built on a new programming language dubbed, “Rust”. Both Servo and Rust are being built from the ground-up to take advantage of multi-core hardware and avoid all of the bugs and security vulnerability that we’re experiencing now. You can download the 0.6 version of the source code for Rust and Servo for Android right now. Mozilla is outlining that work will be continuing throughout “the coming year”.

We’re a long way off from seeing a major release of a browser based on this new technology but, it does raise the question as to why Samsung feel the need to get around the browser that’s included in Android. The South Korean company already does enough to make sure the stock browser looks like their own so, why go and make their own browser engine? Well, it would give Samsung a robust option to quickly put together a web browser if they ever were to leave Google’s Android behind. Not only that but, it presents a much easier way to customize the browser on their devices. If anything, the new engine should take better advantage of multi-core processors and limiting security vulnerablities is a lot easier to do while building a product, than it is to go back in time with patches.

I wonder why though, Samsung have chosen to do something new when they could license Apple’s Open Source WebKit engine that powers Google Chrome. Oh, hang on, it’s from Apple. I get it now. So, do you think this is a smart move from Samsung or is it just a press stunt?