I think a lot of the under the hood stuff on Select has been to make sure the OS is more robust and bug free as Paul stated during his talk. I think he mentioned 4000 bugs at some point when the source code was handed over. I do like what has been achieved with Select like the easier network setup , 1 to 10 correct filer display etc but I do agree that it would be nice to have say a codec to do a webcam or Voip but I'm not sure that should be part of the operating system.
I think you have hit the nail on the head so to speak by using Firefox as your example and I do think it would be good to get a webcam addon for say Grapevine or a Voip plug in. I did ask Castle about the prospect of a codec for the BBC content player and they stated that they had lots of codecs developed but that releasing them had to be a commercial decision. So given this perhaps something like the Firefox/GimpPrint pledge may get us a Webcam addon though I still favour some one like RComp relwasing something as an addon.