August 27, 2009

Microsoft OneApp Creates Access to Mobile Apps for Feature Phones in Emerging Markets

On August 24, 2009, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corporation "announced Microsoft OneApp, a new software application that enables feature phones — commonly found in emerging markets — to access mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and other popular apps and games." Through OneApp, according to the software, services and solutions company, "people around the world who own feature phones will be able to do more and enjoy a better mobile experience with their existing phones." OneApp is available in South Africa through Blue Label Telecoms and their mibli service and Microsoft plans to launch OneApp in more countries within the next year.

Designed to run on the most popular feature phones, OneApp appears as a single application that allows users to easily access all of their mobile apps. Microsoft explains that OneApp appears on a customer phone as a single application where they can then easily access all of their mobile apps. Here is a list of additional features:
  • The OneApp lightweight on-phone footprint of just 150 KB makes the initial installation easy and fast;
  • OneApp dynamically launches 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 of the mobile apps on the phone;
  • OneApp includes cloud services that help offload processing and storage from the phone to the Internet, improving overall performance; and
  • OneApp uses data networks efficiently to reduce data access charges, saving money for the customer.

Microsoft's press release says, "Software developers can write new apps for OneApp using industry standards such as JavaScript and XML. The OneApp software developer kit is expected to be available for developers by the end of 2009." OneApp was created under Microsoft Unlimited Potential, which combines advanced technologies and strong partnerships with governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, educational institutions, and technology and service partners into making technology more affordable, relevant and accessible for the five billion people around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits.

Here is a good demonstration video of OneApp produced by Todd Bishop, co-founder and managing editor of TechFlash and author of a blog on Microsoft:

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