Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has detailed a partnership with mobile operator Vodafone to develop mobile web services standards for developers.
Gates told the ITU Telecom World conference last week that in the first quarter of next year application developers will release beta programmes to allow cross-pollination of mobile and fixed applications.
The vendors hope the mobile web service standards will enable developers to incorporate aspects of mobile phone technology into PC applications.
"This will create the opportunity to make a whole new type of application," said John Maffie, group product manager at Microsoft.
However, others were not so positive. "This announcement will be greeted with scepticism," said Neil Macehiter, a research director at analyst Ovum.
"Many will see this as an attempt to hijack initiatives from the Open Mobile Alliance and The Parlay Group, which both have widespread industry support."
Vodafone and Microsoft insist that the standards will not be proprietary and will be put before a standards body, although they have yet to say which one.
"It's not about creating something that is operating system- or carrier-dependent. We want developers to be able to incorporate functionality from the mobile and PC worlds," said Paul Davey, group strategic relations executive at Vodafone.
By using mobile phone technologies, developers will be able to incorporate new features, such as enabling roadside assistant firms to locate stranded motorists with their call-centre applications.
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