RE: Is WAP the Web?

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From: Nicolas Popp (
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 08:59:46 PDT

>For the companies that are locking & limiting, it'll never last.

All the wireless carriers know that they have a 12 month window opportunity
to build their portal and capture users through personalized content. They
have seen that the walled garden approach of AOL can work and be very
lucrative. So, they have all decided to give it a shot.

Technically, the whole WAP architecture that requires one unique entry point
(unless you are ready to mess with dial up number and IP address in your
phone) is perfect for creating a closed world (some like Rohit have argued
that it was no coincidence!). This will not go away for teh next 2-3 years

Another factor that facilitates this approach is that most European WAP
users are getting hooked to the Web for the first time. Because, these users
have little Web experience/awareness, they hardly know Yahoo, Hotmail or
Amazon, so they are not asking for it. Obviously, as the dotcom brands build
up in these countries, carriers will be forced to open up.

Even when the carriers are forced to open up, they will still be able to
capitalize on 2 big assets:
. they have your profile and billing info
. they'll know your location

They are going to build a lot of personalized services on top of these
(ewallet, location based services...) and they may well decide not to share
this information with anybody in order to give their content a BIG
competitive advantage...


-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory Alan Bolcer []
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 7:28 AM
To: FoRK
Subject: Re: Is WAP the Web?

Dave Winer wrote:
> An interesting group of associated topics, in a single item on today's
> Scripting News..
> ***Is WAP the Web?
> Lance Knobel: "Yesterday's Wall Street Journal Europe had a fascinating
> piece on the strategy telecoms companies are following with WAP. They are
> 'locking' their phones so that you can only access their portal, or even
> some cases only access sites that have agreements with them. Have these
> people learned nothing from the Web? Yesterday, the French courts ruled
> France Telecom had to unlock its phones -- but only at users' request!"

A NeoPoint 1000 using SprintPCS and a Nokia 7110 using Orange
will acccess anything you want.

In fact, we've been programming server-side, dynamically generated WML over
HTTP for
two months now. For the companies that are locking & limiting, it'll never
It's so funny HP and Nokia will charge $13k-$20k for a WAP server when you
can use an Apache+Jserv+JRE+MagiWAP for free. We have this open source
project that
I've probably mentioned 10 times on FoRK, but I'll do it again as we are
ready to press release the wireless features. It's called Magi. Magi is
Apache++/--. There's an Internet Computing article on it this month
and the site is; the paper:'Work/Public/IC-Magi-final.pdf
The goal is to put a two-way Web, i.e. HTTP+DAV+DynDNS+BuddyListACLs
onto 50M PDAs, 300M Desktops, 1/2B smartphones, and 3B embedded smart
processors. If you think about it, what other software
than HTTP is going to run on all those things, much less make them all
understand each other. That's what I think the next layer of the
Web should look like--understandable by all, runs on everything, secure
access to your own information, and everything's an event destination.

> Yesterday at lunch with Rohit, we talked about doing some whitepapers. I
> asked Rohit if he is a writer, and he told me about the O'Reilly books he
> wrote.

Rohit's an exceptionally good writer, but I wouldn't want him to get
a big head. Speaking of which (his writing), this very same Internet
issue has a nice response to his long running Seventh Heaven column
from Dave Raggett on XForms--the goal of which is have the same
back end to be used across a broad range of user interfaces whether
it's WML/WAP or VoiceXML, reduction in effort to build smart forms, and
"some long overdue extensions to the visual user interface". (thank


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