Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Standards On The Move

By Ian Lloyd | October 14th, 2003 | Filed in Mobile

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Microsoft and Vodafone are getting their heads together to frame and promote mobile web service standards based around XML. The companies are looking for industry engagement for their plans for greater PC to mobile web convergence. Bill Gates was hauled out for this announcement at the ITU Telecoms World 2003 in Geneva which suggests that this is no small undertaking for Microsoft. Perhaps not as pivotal as Gates’ ‘Microsoft are going to embrace the Internet’ speech that kinda signalled the opening salvos in ‘The Browser Wars’, but important nonetheless.

Drew Cullen comments in a piece in The Register that “all the major protagonists are agin each other, jostling for position through whatever loose coalition makes best sense at the time. But in public, Microsoft, Sun et al are cordial, nay respectful, in navigating their causes through all those heavily mediated, wearisome Web Standards disputes.” It’s reminiscent of Microsoft, Netscape and others agreeing on W3C recommendations but going off and doing their own thing with their own browsers anyway. The FT believes something like this is exactly what will happen as a result of this MS/Vodafone coalition:

Analysts asked why Microsoft and Vodafone appeared to have acted alone when both were members of bodies dedicated to developing such standards. "This is the kind of standardisation that leads to fragmentation and, at the end of the day, means the size of the mobile market is smaller," said one.

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