VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 12, 2002 — Today at the annual meeting of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, Microsoft Corp. announced its endorsement, full sponsorship status and board of directors representation in the newly formed Open Mobile Alliance, ratified by the full WAP Forum membership on Monday. The Open Mobile Alliance includes the previous WAP Forum membership, the supporters of the Open Mobile Architecture initiative (OMA) and standards fora, which have announced their intent to consolidate.
“This new alliance is a significant step to consolidate the multiple and overlapping standards bodies and specifications forums into one industry body, and break down the barriers to building a thriving market for mass adoption of wireless voice and data communications. Although there are many challenges ahead, Microsoft hopes that we as an industry can tear down those barriers together and proceed toward building an Internet that connects all types of devices, from mobile phones to personal computers,” said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president of the Mobility Group at Microsoft.
The Open Mobile Alliance marks a significant evolution for the mobile communications industry, as it seeks to align the wireless, Internet and PC industries’ efforts to build a thriving wireless ecosystem and deliver on the promise of interoperable services and applications for mobile communications. Microsoft joined the WAP Forum in 1999 and accepted the terms as a Sponsor Member in the IT/Applications/Software Vendors category in the Open Mobile Alliance.
As a board member, Microsoft will actively participate in the formation meetings taking place this week in Vancouver. In addition, as standards fora formalize their incorporation into the Open Mobile Alliance, Microsoft and the other OMA board members will work with them to bridge the gaps between the wireless, Internet and PC industries and enable compelling end-user experiences. In addition, Microsoft will continue its standards bodies’ efforts with IETF, WS-I, IEEE and others.
The Open Mobile Alliance will compile market requirements and define specifications designed to remove barriers to interoperability and accelerate the development and adoption of a variety of new, enhanced mobile information, communication and entertainment services and applications. The definition of these common specifications and the testing of interoperability will promote competition through innovation and differentiation, while ensuring the interoperability of mobile services across markets, terminals and operators, throughout the entire value chain.
The goals for the Open Mobile Alliance are to do the following: deliver responsive and high-quality open standards and specifications based on market and customer requirements; establish centers of excellence for best practices and conduct for interoperability testing (IOT), including multistandard interoperability to ensure a seamless user experience; create and promote a common industry view on architectural framework; and be the catalyst for the consolidation of a standards forum, working with other standards organizations such as IETF, 3GPP, 3GPP2 and W3C. Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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