Home AOL Announces Open Mobile Platform

AOL Announces Open Mobile Platform

AOL today announced the Open Mobile Platform, which the company plans to release to developers this summer. AOL says the software development platform will help developers create applications across major mobile device operating systems including BREW, Java, Linux, RIM, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. The platform will consist of three parts: an XML-based scripting language, a device client, and an application server.

AOL’s platform differs from efforts like Google’s Android, which was demoed today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in that it isn’t a singular phone operating system that attempts to lock users into one way of doing things. Rather, it is a software development platform for multiple operating systems that aims to make it easier for developers to deploy apps across the various mobile OS and platform options.

Lest you think the entire endeavor is completely altruistic on AOL’s part, the Open Mobile Platform is also the unified “software module” that AOL hinted at last September, which the company hopes will push its services and APIs onto as many mobile devices as possible. The platform is designed to play nice with third-party APIs, as well as those from AOL including AIM, AOL Mail, AOL Video, MapQuest, Userplane, Truveo, and Winamp. AOL is counting on developers to create mobile applications that lean on AOL services and can be deployed across multiple mobile device operating systems.

The platform is also about pushing AOL advertising services onto the mobile web, as well. “The AOL Open Mobile Platform will also give developers the ability to monetize their mobile applications by utilizing advertising resources, such as clickable banner ads, provided by AOL’s Platform-A,” wrote the company in a press release.

Some have suggested that the real battle for online supremacy will be fought on mobile devices, and that Microsoft’s recently rebuffed bid for Yahoo! has as much to do with mobile as with competing on search or text advertising. With AOL’s name dragged into the fray as a possible alternative for Yahoo!, their mobile efforts become that much more interesting.

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