GeeksPhone has released two models of phones that offer a glimpse at Mozilla's Firefox OS, anticipated by many developers as an alternative to the "walled gardens" of Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Developers would value a Web-based method for cross-platform programming, writes Stephen Shankland. "But though any new smartphone or computer these days has a browser, there are still differences among them. And performance issues remain a bugaboo," he adds.

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