LONDON, April 17, 2002 — Today at the Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference, Microsoft announced the creation of Mobile2Market — The Marketplace for Mobile Applications, which enables a process for the certification and market delivery of network-ready wireless applications for the Windows® Powered Pocket PC and Smartphone 2002 software platforms. To date, it has been difficult and time-consuming for application vendors to prepare solutions for wireless data networks, and once these applications become available, mobile operators have had little assurance that they are network-ready. The Mobile2Market program is designed to address these issues by assisting mobile operators, independent software vendors (ISVs), and cataloging and certification partners with identifying mobile applications for secure, manageable and reliable deployment on next-generation wireless networks. Mobile2Market will connect ISVs, channel partners, mobile operators and end users in a technology ecosystem that will enable a new economy around the creation, certification and delivery of these mobile applications.
“The move to wireless data and the introduction of wireless Pocket PC and Smartphone 2002 devices presents an incredible opportunity for application developers, mobile operators and customers,”
said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president of Mobility at Microsoft.
“Weve designed Mobile2Market to help jump-start the mobile applications marketplace and create new revenue opportunities for companies supporting Windows Powered mobile devices.”
Mobile2Market will supply ISVs and mobile operators with a streamlined infrastructure for the certification of compelling and reliable mobile applications. All players in this value chain will have the opportunity to control the scope of their individual participation in the process, which consists of four steps:
Compliance testing and logo certification. This ensures application compliance with Microsoft security and network guidelines. Upon certification, the application receives the Designed for Microsoft® Windows Powered Pocket
Publishing. This provides ISVs with a simplified application distribution mechanism and gives mobile operators the option to implement their own application distribution system.
Delivery. Consumers and business users can easily identify and purchase applications from Handango Inc. or the mobile operator Web site and install them on their mobile devices.
Billing. Billing is processed either by retailers or mobile operators. This enables ISVs and mobile operators to realize additional revenue from application sales.
“Mobile2Market is important because through it, Microsoft enables a common framework that will provide industry players with a market-making opportunity to deliver value to mobile users,”
said Neil Ward-Dutton, software infrastructure research director at Ovum.
“Often the diverse supplier groups that have a stake in the success of wireless data have failed to come together to offer users easy-to-use and valuable services that they can trust. The Mobile2Market initiative helps bridge the gaps between these groups of suppliers.”
Mobile Application Certification Identifies Service, Quality and Reliability
Participants will have the option to engage in Mobile2Market in its entirety or in part, depending on the aspect of the process thats most beneficial to the individual company:
ISVs. ISVs targeting Windows Powered wireless devices can quickly and easily bring products to the market (and to mobile operators) by participating in Mobile2Market. ISVs participating in the certification program will receive benefits including technical support and customer leads.
Testing houses. Handango, QualityLogic Inc. and VeriTest will participate in the program as certification vendors. Using criteria developed by Microsoft, these companies will identify and certify mobile applications that meet a high level of service readiness, security and competency for carrier deployment on next-generation networks. Upon successful completion of the logo program, applications will receive Designed for Microsoft Windows for Pocket PC or Smartphone 2002 logo certification. The logo helps ensure that these applications are specifically built for Windows Powered Pocket PC or Smartphone 2002 and take advantage of features specific to the platform.
Cataloging vendors. As part of its end-to-end investment in the delivery of applications to mobile users, Handango will participate as a cataloging vendor, sharing its catalog with other retailers and mobile operators. In its role as a cataloging vendor, Handango also will interface with each mobile operators billing infrastructure.
Mobile operators. Upon certification, ISVs can offer mobile operators the assurance that their applications are ready for deployment. Mobile operators will have the option to extend the Mobile2Market logo program by processing applications through another round of network testing and conferring their own complementary certification.
“Microsofts Mobile2Market program will significantly help us meet the ever-increasing demand from our mutual customers to bring new, secure and reliable mobile applications to market over the Orange network,”
said Neville Swain, head of Technical Business Solutions, Orange UK.
“With the application having already passed the Microsoft certification process, the amount of time it will take Orange to test it is greatly reduced.”
“The explosion of wireless devices creates a tremendous development opportunity,”
said John Dancu, president and COO of Synchrologic Inc.
“Working with Microsoft and its certification partners will speed time from development to carrier deployment and differentiate our product from others on the market with carriers and, ultimately, with customers.”
The Pocket PC 2002 certification program will be introduced to ISVs on April 17, 2002; launch of the Smartphone 2002 certification program will coincide with the launch of the product. Customers can expect to see certified applications later this year.
More information regarding the Mobile2Market program can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mobile/getcertified/ .
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