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MS-Lucent vs IBM-Nokia – rival ‘Web anywhere’ camps form

Nokia buddies up to Pervasive strategy while Lucent sells Exchange to ASPs

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Rival camps vying for the 'Internet Anywhere' market are beginning to form, with near simultaneous announcements of alliances between Nokia and IBM, and Microsoft and Lucent. The Nokia-IBM deal is intended to further IBM's Pervasive Computing ambitions and accelerate take-off of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), while Lucent has become a licensed reseller of Microsoft Exchange, and intends to pitch it at the "pervasive" market. Lucent intends to use Exchange to sell unified voice, email and fax messaging to telecoms service providers. The company envisages users being able to access their mail from a range of devices, including mobile phones, and sees the system being sold to ISPs and ASPs, so effectively this is another stage in Microsoft's plan to establish itself in the mobile and application rental fields. The IBM-Nokia deal will initially allow IBM to market and distribute Nokia's WAP Server software on NetFinity PC servers, starting in Q4 this year. These will IBM's customers to extend their networks to mobile phone clients. But IBM has also licensed Nokia "core WAP technology" for integration into other IBM server platforms. These will clearly be aimed at larger scale networks and service providers. Where Microsoft and its allies are pushing BackOffice as the standard here, IBM's flavour comes under the Pervasive Computing banner. IBM will be building WAP technology into its Pervasive Computing middleware, which includes DB/2 Everywhere, SecureWay Wireless software and MQSeries Everywhere. Also in there we have Transcoding Services, which is going to be handy for service providers catering for WAP Web access. This software translates standard Web pages into something that's more readily understandable by small screens and low-resource platforms. ®

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