Feeds

DoCoMo shows Microsoft wireless gizmo

Too little, too late, with i-Phone now banking on Java?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Almost a year to the day after Microsoft struck a deal with Japanese wireless giant NTT DoCoMo, the first fruits of the deal were displayed at World PC Expo in Tokyo yesterday. But it may well go unnoticed as the Japanese market swings to using Java-based gadgets.

On show this week is a prototype Microsoft Pocket PC device, that's basically a mutated Casio E-700 CE device. It's capable of taking DoCoMo's Handyphone Type II CF card, and that's how it talks to a phone. The device was also demonstrated with a separate full-sized keyboard.

Given its lofty, kingmaker role in the Japan wireless market - DoCoMo pretty much is the Japanese wireless market, being the main network operator with fingers in intellectual property ties in wideband-CDMA too - and it's struck deals promiscuously for a wide range of deals for devices. The usual suspects - Symbian, Palm and even Handspring have walked away with partnerships of some kind - but ominously for Microsoft, some time ago DoCoMo decided to base its next generation of i-Mode phones on Java. And these are just about ready to hit the market in December.

Is that important? We'll see, because the big, and let's face it, the really big question is how capable phones will prove to be as hand-held terminals. Will manufacturers have to plan for a $250 device, or a $600 device? In truth, no one really knows just yet. Today's phones do messaging and novelty games pretty well right now, and they'll stream and save audio within a few months. Beyond that is unchartered water. So Japan is the hothouse for such experiments, and each and every one of the licensees is watching to see which of these device/service models will stick.

Equally, what exactly is 'the platform' for these devices? On that front, the picture is clearer, and with Java as a standard the handset users can download novelty games and applications irrespective of network or phone. Sun appears to have won the platform war in Japan: if you've an idea, you code it in Java, and send it over the ether, without a second thought for reaching for the Win32 or Symbian programming manual. ®

Related stories

Symbian, NTT show broadband 'concept' device
Sun, NTT to intro Java mobile games phone
MS wireless deal with Symbian on the cards?

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.