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Web May Be Ultimate Mobile Platform

(Marin Perez, InformationWeek) While Google, Nokia and Palm take different approaches to the mobile space, executives from each company agreed that the mobile Web will play a significant role in future application development.

At the MobileBeat 2009 conference in San Francisco, the companies discussed what makes up a winning mobile platform. The executives agreed that the most important thing was ensuring the end user has a good experience with apps, as well as making the platform attractive to developers.

Mobile program makers are facing an increasingly fragmented world, as the smartphone space consists of Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Nokia's S60 Symbian, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and Palm's webOS. Additionally, most content creators also have to make apps for the various versions of J2ME if they want to reach a broad audience of feature phone users.

Vic Gundotra, Google's VP of engineering, said even the search giant isn't rich enough to support this many platforms at a sustainable rate over the long term. Gundotra said the Web will become a strong mobile development platform as things like HTML 5 and offline improvements become standardized. "We've decided to look to the future, and what we see happening is a move to incredibly powerful browsers," said Gundotra. "What that does for our costs is stunning."

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