Microsoft gets smart with dumb phones
Offloads processing and storage
Microsoft wants folks in emerging markets using inexpensive mobile phones to social-network away their free time just like fancy smartphone users do.
The company on Monday announced plans for a light-weight mobile application platform called OneApp, aimed at developing countries where cheaper phones and pre-paid services are the norm.
Despite wildfire growth of mobile devices in such markets, it's been a tough spot for developers to crack - in part due to the prevalence of phones with low processing power and memory.
Microsoft intends to solve this particular problem with the OneApp platform, which can serve up the majority of an application's processing and storage through a cell network rather than locally. The software is debuting in the next few weeks in South Africa, where Blue Label Telecoms will ship a mobile services package powered by OneApp with about a dozen mobile apps such as the usual gang of social networking tat like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Messenger as well as a mobile wallet program. Additional apps will come later focusing on areas such as healthcare.
OneApp itself takes up a scant 150 kilobytes of memory and individual programs can be as compact as 10 to 15 kilobytes, according to Microsoft. The company also describes OneApp as being able to launch "just the parts of a mobile app that a person wants to use, eliminating additional installation time and the need for a person to store all the mobile apps on the phone."
You can heck out Microsoft's OneApp website here. ®
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