Microsoft OneApp Taps Power Of Feature Phones


OneApp is aimed specifically at emerging markets where the majority of devices are 'feature phones,' devices that don't offer the full Web-enabled experience of the Blackberry and iPhone but are still capable of running some applications.

These markets have been tough for developers to reach due to the confounding plenitude of different mobile devices. OneApp solves this problem by giving ISVs and feature phone users a single application for accessing popular mobile applications like Facebook and Twitter, according to Tim McDonough, senior director of Mobile Product Management at Microsoft.

"What we're letting you do is get access to the applications and services you want from a device you already own. If you don't own a PC, or you share a PC, your mobile phone may be your first or only computing device," McDonough said in an article posted Monday to Microsoft's PressPass Web site.

OneApp isn't part of Microsoft's struggling Windows Mobile platform, although McDonough said it will complement Microsoft's Windows Mobile strategy.

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Like nearly everything else Microsoft is doing these days, OneApp has a cloud component that gives users on-demand access to mobile applications. Blue Label Telecoms of South Africa is Microsoft's launch partner for OneApp, and expectations are that OneApp will open new mobile computing opportunities to feature phone users in that country.

"OneApp is a technology that is going to help people do things they couldn't do before -- anything from paying their bills to helping diagnose their health issues or just staying connected with friends and family," said Amit Mital, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential Group and Startup Business Accelerator, in the PressPass article.