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Friday, July 29, 2005

Mobiles : Next Frontier For Internet Companies

(Via IWeek) In the past six months, there have been increased efforts by other Internet companies such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo to offer better search capabilities on mobile devices. As mobile usage time increases,Internet companies are jumping on the opportunity by introducing more Web-browsing features to cell-phone users. As Internet companies look for new revenue streams and customers, they see particularly fertile ground among the millions of cell-phone users. Increasingly, cell phones are becoming highly customizable and personalized devices that can be used for more than just phone calls, including E-mail, video streaming, and even Internet browsing. Several vendors today offer mobile browsing capabilities on cell phones, including Access, Nokia, Openwave Systems, and Opera Software. Many of these browsers are based on the Wireless Application Protocol, which features the Wireless Markup Language, a simplified version of HTML for small-screen displays. But WML offers limited memory and limits the kind of Web pages that can be accessed on a mobile device because it's not true HTML, Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin says.

Recent efforts by America Online and the Mozilla Foundation, have been geared toward making the Internet-browsing experience easier for cell-phone users. Mozilla this week released a technology preview of a mobile-phone browser that uses the same code base as its Firefox browser for desktops. Mozilla has developed a set of XML tags for describing graphical user interfaces. AOL is testing a suite of AOL Mobile Search Services that promise to give users access to all Web content, not just WAP-enabled pages. Search results also are formatted to the cell-phone screen and links are clickable. Mobile's reach if far more than the traditional internet - nopt only in terms of the number of users - but also in terms of the range of applications that mobiles can support.

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