Microsoft joins WAP Forum

Microsoft has joined the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, an industry group that is developing and promoting the WAP standard for wireless devices that access the Internet. Members of the WAP Forum have stated in the past that they hoped Microsoft would join their group, rather than, as some feared, develop a competing standard.

Microsoft has joined the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, an industry group that is developing and promoting the WAP standard for wireless devices that access the Internet.

Microsoft will now work with WAP Forum members to accelerate the deployment of wireless mobile devices based on Web standards, Microsoft said. Members of the WAP Forum have stated in the past that they hoped Microsoft would join their group, rather than, as some feared, develop a competing standard.

WAP, when complete, will be positioned as a global standard for Internet access for mobile phones, pagers, palm-size PCs, handhelds, mobile computers or any portable connected mobile device. The protocol is based on XML (extensible mark-up language). WAP is designed to work on the CDMA (code division multiple access) mobile phone standard common in the U.S. as well as GSM (global system for mobile communications), the mobile phone standard popular in Europe and Asia.

The WAP Forum was established by Ericsson., Nokia, Motorola and Phone.com (formerly known as Unwired Planet) to promote the development of the standard.

Although equipment makers are announcing products and services based on WAP, the official standard will not be finalised until later this year.

The WAP Forum, based in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-949-6760 or http://www.wapforum.com/. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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