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NewsForge: WAP market getting WAPPED

Nov 29, 2000, 19:46 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)

"If the pessimism in the "new technology" sector wasn't bad enough already, doubters about wireless Internet services are starting to come out of the woodwork. And some of them are blaming it all on the Open Source phenomenon."

"This new market has also attracted a rapidly growing body of "Open Source" WAP programs and information, most notably Kannel, and OpenWAP. A WAPUniverse Palm browser is being built in Open Source. Several firms like 3G Lab, SourceGear, and Wapit, Ltd. are structuring their offerings based on Open Source technology. Even mainstream vendors like Nokia have been opening up elements of their programs."

"The oddest explanation being given for the problems with the WAP marketplace was put forth by the Wall Street Journal. In a truly remarkable stretch of logic, the Journal suggested that the industry standards group, the WAP Forum was to blame, and so was the Open Source development model! According to The Journal, when "the forum made WAP open-source ... it fueled the mis-marketing of WAP." The Journal suggested that without proprietary code to hide behind, developers "could only differentiate themselves through packaging." By this line of thinking, Open Source was responsible for the hype that stampeded investors and developers into creating a technology that wasn't ready for prime time."

"Other more rational analysts suggest the problem lies in the fact that most WAP applications ... suck."

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