Mozilla to release Prism, an open-source Silverlight and Adobe AIR competitor

Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR are cross-device platforms that run advanced web applications locally on computers.

Mozilla is now readying the release of their open-source project, Prism, which will make it even easier for you to turn most web pages into applications usable directly from your computer.

The current Prism beta that is available is very stable, and according to a source from Mozilla, Prism will be stable enough to be bundled with the upcoming Firefox version 3.6.

Prism works like this: while you are on a web page, simply right-click, and turn the page into an app via the option, and that’s it, you’re done. You can also manually enter URLs into Prism to create applications. Prism currently works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

So you might be asking yourself what all of this is about, essentially, the apps that run on these platforms are richer in features compared to apps within web browsers. Prism (with the other platforms) could make life easier for you. For example, you can head over to the FedEx website, and create an app to easily use from your desktop to track parcels. Another example is the NASDAQ Market Replay app (on Adobe AIR), a stock market analysis tool that works well because of the ability to store and manipulate significant amounts of historical data from the web thanks to Adobe AIR. Other possible uses are to create apps from your favorite email service like Gmail, that will allow you to get notifications on your desktop when new emails arrive. For example, if you get your email with Yahoo Zimbra, the current app displays notifications as emails arrive, as seen in the screenshot below on the Mac OS X dock.

The main advantage for Prism is that because it is an open-source project compared to proprietary technology used by Silverlight and Adobe AIR, opting to develop for Prism could cost companies less and could be a faster process with more extensive available support.

Despite the popularity of AIR and Silverlight, Mozilla has one significant competitive advantage: Firefox. With over 300 million downloads of the popular web browser, bundling Prism, a lesser known technology to the average computer user, could spark mass adoption assuming the users find value in using the apps on their machines locally compared to accessing their favorite services from their respective browsers.


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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to murad@business2press.com
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  • RoyP

    why are these companies making redundant products? why do i need to access gmail from my taskbar or dock on the mac, when my blackberry sits right in front of me on my desk….so not only do i have my mobile phone and I can leave my browser opened with gmail opened (which will display new messages automatically without refreshing), but now i apparently need another desktop gmail app…where's the innovation ladies and gentlemen?

  • RoyP

    why are these companies making redundant products? why do i need to access gmail from my taskbar or dock on the mac, when my blackberry sits right in front of me on my desk….so not only do i have my mobile phone and I can leave my browser opened with gmail opened (which will display new messages automatically without refreshing), but now i apparently need another desktop gmail app…where's the innovation ladies and gentlemen?

  • Evan Wright

    they do it cuz we need these things and they need to sell something to us lol

  • Evan Wright

    they do it cuz we need these things and they need to sell something to us lol

  • :-)

    I believe you meant “proprietary technology” and not “preparatory technology”.

  • :-)

    I believe you meant “proprietary technology” and not “preparatory technology”.

  • :-|

    It isn't redundant if it has more features. The innovation lies in what is possible with it.

  • :-|

    It isn't redundant if it has more features. The innovation lies in what is possible with it.

  • http://business2press.com Hercules K

    Hey smiley lol, we've gone ahead and fixed that, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    Regards

  • http://business2press.com Hercules K

    Hey smiley lol, we've gone ahead and fixed that, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    Regards

  • Joel T

    now, is it just me… or does the Prism logo look remarkably similar to the Grapher icon (the utility app on OS X)

  • Joel T

    now, is it just me… or does the Prism logo look remarkably similar to the Grapher icon (the utility app on OS X)

  • http://xeno.com/ xENo

    This only has potential if I, as a site owner, can build my own downloadable executable pre-loaded with my site. If users have to download it, run it, come to my site, create it… that's useless to me.

  • http://xeno.com/ xENo

    This only has potential if I, as a site owner, can build my own downloadable executable pre-loaded with my site. If users have to download it, run it, come to my site, create it… that's useless to me.

  • Chan

    why can't u put a button or something on your site that will download it for your user? that way, they see it, its there and they can do it.

  • Chan

    why can't u put a button or something on your site that will download it for your user? that way, they see it, its there and they can do it.

  • Sasha

    even if these technologies don't seem very innovative, we are moving along nicely to build upon these “trivial” technologies…..I personally don't believe they are trivial at all…they will facilitate quicker communication and information flows in the future…they just need to let developers make apps directly for these platforms to really harness their power

  • Sasha

    even if these technologies don't seem very innovative, we are moving along nicely to build upon these “trivial” technologies…..I personally don't believe they are trivial at all…they will facilitate quicker communication and information flows in the future…they just need to let developers make apps directly for these platforms to really harness their power

  • Greg

    The Prism logo at the top of the article is linked to the Silverlight website. Try this instead – http://prism.mozilla.com/

  • Greg

    The Prism logo at the top of the article is linked to the Silverlight website. Try this instead – http://prism.mozilla.com/

  • CSK

    IMO the biggest advantage with this kind of technology is that you DON'T have to download any executable.
    I prefer running applications in a sandbox-enviroment like the browser.

  • CSK

    IMO the biggest advantage with this kind of technology is that you DON'T have to download any executable.
    I prefer running applications in a sandbox-enviroment like the browser.

  • Web-ad-Min

    It is not limited to gmail. I'm a web admin and it is very convenient for me to run google analytics on my secondary display and i have it set up so that google analytics via prism starts with my OS.

  • Web-ad-Min

    It is not limited to gmail. I'm a web admin and it is very convenient for me to run google analytics on my secondary display and i have it set up so that google analytics via prism starts with my OS.

  • peter

    I think its going to do well, its faster for people and the fact it seems like Mozilla will push it with Firefox, its surely going to takeoff

  • peter

    I think its going to do well, its faster for people and the fact it seems like Mozilla will push it with Firefox, its surely going to takeoff

  • raleighpressreleaseservice

    So great post ! I get a lot of good info from your post. So smart !

  • Anonymous

    So great post ! I get a lot of good info from your post. So smart !

  • http://butterfly-tattoo-designs.info Samiparker01

    I used Prism beta which is very stable and will be embedded with the upcoming Firefox ver 3.6 that why i am eagerly waiting for Firefox Ver 3.6.

  • Mpengele

    I want to get a standalone installer of Prism for my client with some custom scripts pre-installed. nnI want my clients to install the .exe & start using the web app without the need to tape the url of my web application.u00a0 I don’t want them to know in which domain is located my web appl. It needs to be pre-configured in Prism & should not be altered.u00a0nnHow do I proceed? Can you hepl me please? Thanks

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