Manufacturing giant Foxconn clearly thinks Firefox OS is a horse worth backing. Itís going on a hiring spree and hopes to bring a whopping 3,000 software engineers into the fold.

Certainly Foxconn would stand to benefit from having a few programmers on hand to help out with chores like Firefox OS drivers and optimizations for the devices itís producing. But thereís another big reason the company is making this move.

Foxconn is still known almost exclusively as a company that builds things for everyone else. In the recent past, itís been talked about primarily as the company that puts together Appleís devices. Thatís a good gig, to be sure, even when Foxconnís margins are relatively slim. The relationship with Apple has become strained, however, and Foxconn has started looking for ways to expand its reach. Software could prove to be an excellent way to boost profits.

While Firefox OS may have kickstarted things at Foxconn, itís really just the beginning. Foxconn wants these 3,000 software engineers to be experts in HTML5 and cloud computing.

If Foxconn is going to build hardware for other companies, why not tackle software for them, too? HTML5 apps will work nicely on pretty much everything Foxconn builds ó from Firefox OS phones and Chromebooks to Windows laptops and Android tablets. Cloud computing and cloud-based services are projected to generate more than $1 trillion by 2015. Why wouldnít a company the size of Foxconn want a piece of the action?[/quote]

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