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August 23, 2009

Microsoft unveils OneApp for feature phones

Enables mobile apps to be accessed by feature phones with limited memory and processing capability

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has launched OneApp, a new software application that enables feature phones to access mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and Mobile Wallet. Feature phones are mobile phones that are capable of running some apps but lack the capabilities of smartphones.

Microsoft said that OneApp enables mobile apps to be accessed by feature phones with limited memory and processing capability. The OneApp has an on-phone footprint of 150 KB which makes the initial installation easy and fast.

The company added that OneApp includes cloud services to deliver applications as they are needed. This means users can store and access their apps without needing to store them on the phone. It also uses data networks efficiently to reduce data access charges.

According to Amit Mital, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s unlimited potential group and startup business accelerator, OneApp is expected to bring more applications and services to emerging markets, such as those served by Blue Label Telecoms of South Africa, the launch partner for the new technology.

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.

Mr. Mital, said: “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.”

Microsoft OneApp will be offered through partners worldwide. Software developers can reportedly 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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