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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WAC, Opera and Android

James Rosewell writes:

Just in time to make it into 2010, the Wholesale Application Community (WAC) has gained some important but relatively unreported publicity courtesy of Opera. It’s a slightly early Christmas present for Peters Suh, WAC CEO and a man keen to ensure the industry is presented with a story showing WAC meeting its targets.

Yesterday Opera announced that its new widget runtime for Google Android will support the WAC 1.0 Specification. This runtime enables developers seeking to launch apps with the WAC on day 1 to start development and testing on the Opera platform. It also provides some assurance that a significant and major vendor is going to support WAC technically on the fastest-growing mobile Operating System (OS). The announcement should go some way to eliminating doubts concerning the technical credibility of the project. After all, Opera has a reputation for supporting a wide range of mobile devices and this announcement means all the Android ones will support WAC applications. Expect more Opera platforms to follow in 2011.

However WAC 1.0 and Opera’s new runtime are both Alpha status, so I’m anticipating some fairly major technical changes before version 2.0 is agreed and the whole thing moves to Beta late Q1 or Q2 2011. So don’t rush out and start creating WAC applications unless you’re prepared to make some changes in a few months.

Considering Opera is widely used by many network operators who are members of the WAC to reduce demand on their networks via proxy server technology, it makes sense for Opera to be among the first companies to announce support. The question now is “when will other browser vendors follow?”  Expect to see many more announcing support in the run up to MWC11. After all, building on HTML5 makes it relatively easy and cheap to support and there’s little to lose at this stage.

So the technical credibility of the WAC seems rosy. However, commercial credibility remains in doubt and will be a matter for 2011. I’ll have much more to say next year!

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Author: The Fonecast
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