Next-Generation Mobile Applications

Adobe and Microsoft are slugging it out for Internet applications, and some industry watchers say the application builder that wins out overall will be the chosen one for mobile Web application design and development.

With the introduction of Silverlight, Microsoft is muscling into Web and trying to become the standard for how applications are delivered to end users. It’s what Microsoft is counting on to displace current heavyweights Flash and Flex, both manufactured by Adobe.

Operating Systems, Development Platforms and Telecommunications

Mobile Web applications are controlled in large part by operating systems (Windows CE/Windows Mobile), while the hardware is controlled by handset manufacturers and the telecommunications companies that distribute them. This means ultimately three players are vying for control of software as the focus of the industry shifts from the PC to mobile devices: Web application platforms (Microsoft or Adobe), telecommunications companies and hardware makers.

End users have not congregated around a “killer” application on their mobile phones and PDAs, although many have been developed and more are coming online that promise to be device- and service-agnostic.

But the most compelling obstacle mobile applications have encountered is telecommunications’ control on independent software vendors’ distribution and revenue models. This significant speed bump has slowed the evolution of mobile applications and the sorting out of an industry leader — whether the industry is electronics manufacturing, platform innovation or application development.

With programmers unsure of how lucrative their products can become under the influence of telecommunications companies, developers have little incentive…


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