Microsoft and Yahoo! Launch Mobile Apps
The mobile industry is thriving. There are 3.3 billion mobile phone subscribers around the world - a number that far surpasses that of Internet users. Of that 3.3 billion, there were 405 million mobile Internet users last year. For businesses, mobile users are a highly prized audience. The information that can be communicated by mobile phones and its ubiquitous nature make the technology highly enticing to marketers.
Following news that LinkedIn now offers its services to mobile users, it is no surprise to find that two of the world’s biggest brands have launched bids to capture a larger segment of the growing market for rich mobile web content.
Microsoft is looking to bring is Silverlight platform to millions of mobile phones having signed a deal with handset manufacturer Nokia.
For those with compatible phones, Silverlight will be able to stream video content written for the software. Microsoft is pitching it as an alternative to Adobe’s Flash Player which currently dominates the market with round 450 million devices shipped with the software. Designers and developers can supposedly also produce content independent of browser, operating system and handset.
The software will initially be available on high end Nokia platforms, such as the Series 60, which run the Symbian operating system. The Series 60 platform is also used in handsets built by other manufacturers such as LG and Samsung and has more than 53 per cent market share.
The software will be available later this year and is expected to run on Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets.
Yahoo! has also announced its own mobile web platform, the Yahoo Go 3.0. Already released on over 50 handsets in the US, the application will be available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in mid 2008.
Accompanying the software will be Yahoo Mobile Widgets. Users will be able to download content from partners such as Eurosport, XING, eBay and MySpace.
The big announcement at CeBIT IT Fair from Yahoo! however, was onePlace, a mobile version of its own del.icio.us, which the giant claims to be the industry’s first mobile content management service.
According to Yahoo!, onePlace will ‘reinvent’ bookmarking for phones, taking into account their smaller display screens and different user requirements.
"Over the last three years, we have aggressively executed on our mobile strategy to deliver innovative and indispensable services to consumers globally and become the starting point for the most users. With the introduction of Yahoo! onePlace, we are announcing the next essential component to our mobile product line up," said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!