There's a lot of news from the recent Moblile World Congress, and one of the biggest announcements was the formation of the Wholesale Applications Community, which carries the goal of uniting a splintering mobile apps market. The WAC intends to merge developer communities and development standards from the Joint Innovation Lab and Bondi within a year to make a unified app store for various phones. The group, which includes Sprint, Verizon, Telefonica, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, and AT&T, currently has the backing of the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Association). The group's approach will have to overcome the problems associated with previous attempts at a unified app store. Many are saying that the store will be aimed at competing with Apple's closed App Store environment, but no one has mentioned how odd it is to find Apple's exclusive carrier, AT&T, among the groups members.
Microsoft Renames and Launches Mobile OS
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the renamed, new version of the Windows Mobile OS. Windows Phone 7 Series has most of the features that were leaked, including a Zune interface and access to Xbox Live. Some surprises included a special Bing button and Microsoft's rejection of any vendor specific UIs on top of its own. WP7S will not support Flash, and developers will have to wait until next month to find out if it will support Silverlight in place of Flash. The SDK should be released soon, but Microsoft says we'll have to wait until the end of the year to buy the first phones running WP7S.
Moblin + Maemo = MeeGo
Intel and Nokia have announced their plans to merge their mobile platforms into one "open source uber-platform" called MeeGo. The Linux platform will support many different hardware architectures and run on netbooks, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The MeeGo application interface will be based on Nokia's Qt framework with GTK/Clutter being used for the Moblin-style OS front end. MeeGo is expected to be released in Q2 of this year.
Palm's Wi-Fi Secret Weapon
The Palm Pre now supports an innovative app that lets up to five people use the internet connection of one Pre Plus or Pixi Plus if they have Wi-Fi capable devices. The signal range is around 200 feet and the speed is pretty good even with many devices attached. However, the app sucks power and Verizon charges $40 a month for 5GB of data.
The Java 7 Features Bound to Make Developers More Productive
If you don't know how Java 7 is going to affect your productivity, now is the chance to find out.