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Tuesday, 25 August 2009 04:22

Microsoft targets emerging market cellphone users with OneApp

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Microsoft has released OneApp, an application for cellphones that it says "unlocks the potential of feature mobile phones in emerging markets" by enabling them to access services such as Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and other popular apps and games.

OneApp has launched with over a dozen applications including stock tracker, RSS reader, sports news, mobile transactions, news and weather. It runs currently only on Nokia S-60 based devices and will give Microsoft access to markets which it will be harder for more costly Windows Mobile based smartphones to penetrate.

OneApp has made its debut with South African mobile operator Blue Label Telecoms where it will be used as part of Blue Label's soon-to-be-launched mibli consumer mobile service. Blue Label customers will be able to download and install mibli at no cost and, with OneApp it will support a dozen applications, Microsoft says hat additional apps will be available in the future, focusing on areas such as healthcare.

Mark Levy, joint CEO of Blue Label Telecoms, said: "We're particularly excited by the technology's capacity to transform nearly any cellphone into a highly sophisticated, cost-effective and user-friendly transactional device."

According to Microsoft, OneApp was designed from the ground up to enable mobile apps to be accessed by feature phones with limited memory and processing capability. It requires only 150KB of phone memory and "dynamically launches just the parts of a mobile app that a person wants to use, eliminating additional installation time and the need for a person to store all of the mobile apps on the phone," according to Microsoft

It also includes cloud services that "help offload processing and storage from the phone to the Internet, improving overall performance...[and] uses data networks efficiently to reduce data access charges, saving money for the customer."

Microsoft OneApp will begin to be offered through partners worldwide. Software developers will be able to write new apps for OneApp using industry standards such as JavaScript and XML. The OneApp software developer kit is expected to be available for developers by the end of 2009. Supported devices are Nokia 3555, 5320, 6300, 6500, 6600, E50, E51, E63, E65, E66, E71, N70, N72, N73, N78, N80, N81, N82, N85, N95, N96;' Samsung U900 Soul; Sony Ericsson C510, C902, C905, G705,K610i, K800i, K805i, T650i, W200i, W580i, W595, W660i, W980. Details at https://www.microsoft.com/oneapp

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