IBM has launched a server and associated software aimed at the wireless market and chosen Europe as the testing ground for new mobile technologies and services.
The vendor's p640 server supports wireless applications as well as new versions of its WebSphere Everyplace middleware suite. The software integrates functions for connecting wireless devices to web content and ecommerce applications.
It also includes a wireless gateway to support multiple wired and wireless networks and protocols, and a transcoding server to adapt existing web content for mobile devices. The rack-mountable server is based on IBM's Power3-II copper processors and offers up to 16Gb of SDRam memory.
Michel Mayer, general manager of the pervasive computing division at IBM, said: "The company already provides wireless infrastructure support to customers in Europe and plans to extend it worldwide, with new servers, software and services that allow businesses to build web and enterprise applications for mobile devices."
Big Blue will initially test its technology and services in Europe because it believes the region is 18 months ahead of the US in wireless internet usage.
Several European internet service providers, including BT Cellnet, Telecom Italia, France's Avenir, and UniXS of the Netherlands, have already pledged their support for IBM's middleware technology and services.
"In the next two to three years, I think we are talking about a $100bn market to enable the internet to be fully wireless, and we think IBM can address half that market," said Mayer.
Meanwhile, the company has reportedly ended a project with Quanta Computer of Taiwan to produce a notebook computer using Transmeta's Crusoe technology which uses software, instead of on-chip circuitry to do most of the computing.
The ThinkPad project was scheduled to have been followed by a Transmeta-based notebook for IBM, with production due to begin in the first quarter of next year. The company gave no reason for its cancellation of the project.
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