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Microsoft OneApp to unlock potential of feature mobile phones in emerging markets
Posted on 25-Aug-2009 09:09. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft OneApp to unlock potential of feature mobile phones in emerging markets
Microsoft Corp. today 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. The result is a better mobile experience for the many people around the world who want to do more with the phones they already own.

OneApp complements Microsoft’s existing mobile strategy by bringing mobile apps and services to feature phones in emerging markets.

Launching first with Blue Label Telecoms in South Africa, OneApp will be used as part of the new and upcoming release of its mibli consumer mobile service. As a result of a strategic relationship with Blue Label Telecoms, mibli, powered by Microsoft OneApp, will ship with more than a dozen new mobile apps. Additional apps will be available in the future, focusing on areas such as healthcare. Consumers in South Africa can download and install mibli for free.

“We believe mobile technology plays a pivotal role in addressing people’s everyday needs and creating new opportunities for local industry to grow. We are excited to announce our first release of Microsoft OneApp with Blue Label Telecoms,” said Amit Mital, corporate vice president of the Unlimited Potential Group and Startup Business Accelerator at Microsoft. “Microsoft OneApp will be able to help people do things they couldn’t do before with their feature phone — anything from paying their bills to helping diagnose their health issues or just staying connected with friends and family.”

The company says OneApp was designed from the ground up to enable mobile apps to be accessed by feature phones with limited memory and processing capability.

For customers, OneApp appears on their phone as a single application where they can then easily access all of their mobile apps. 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.

The product includes cloud services that help offload processing and storage from the phone to the Internet, improving overall performance.

OneApp uses data networks efficiently to reduce data access charges, saving money for the customer.

“With a GPRS-enabled cell phone, consumers can now be part of the app experience, which is taking the world by storm,” said Mark Levy, joint CEO of Blue Label Telecoms. “While this opens up a whole new world of opportunity for any and all users, advertisers and developers, we’re particularly excited by the technology’s capacity to transform nearly any cell phone into a highly sophisticated, cost-effective and user-friendly transactional device.”

Microsoft OneApp will begin to be offered through partners worldwide. 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.

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