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Eclipse's Pulsar Aimed At Mobile Apps

The multiplatform tool could make it easier for developers to create content for various smartphones, although Apple, Google, and Microsoft aren't on board.
The Eclipse Foundation wants to make it easier for developers to create application for multiple platforms, and will soon launch a multivendor, multiplatform development tool, the group said Tuesday.

The platform is called Pulsar, and it will be built with Java ME, mobile Web technologies like JavaScript and CSS, as well as native mobile operating system environments. This isn't a "write once, play everywhere" solution, but it will create a common tool that could make it easier to create mobile programs. For example, a developer wouldn't have to download different software development kits to create content for multiple handset platforms.

The first Pulsar release is expected in late June, and the initiative is backed by Eclipse members Genuitec, IBM, Motorola, Nokia, Research In Motion, and Sony Ericsson. For the handset makers, the move could lower the investment costs in base-level development tools, and allow them to redirect it towards differentiating elements.

"We see Pulsar as an important initiative for the mobile industry and a tremendous opportunity for the millions of developers on the Eclipse platform today who are interested in streamlining the development of mobile applications for a variety of different devices," Alan Brenner, senior VP of RIM's BlackBerry platform division, said in a statement.

Mobile applications are becoming increasingly important in the mobile space, as some reports said app stores will drive smartphone sales. While programs from mobile devices have been around for a while, Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch has brought it to the forefront with over a half a billion downloads in less than a year.

Apple isn't part of the Pulsar initiative, and neither are major players like Google and Microsoft. The Eclipse Foundation said it continues to reach out to get more participants, but it is unclear if Pulsar will ever work for Android, iPhone, or Windows Mobile.

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