Qualcomm's Plaza To Enable Easier Mobile Widgets - InformationWeek

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5/30/2008
12:23 PM
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Qualcomm's Plaza To Enable Easier Mobile Widgets

The company hopes its new platform-neutral widget framework will help operators drive mobile data usage.

Building on the growing personalization demand in mobile Web access, Qualcomm announced Wednesday a platform-neutral widget solution that will let mobile operators and developers produce and deliver Internet-based content across devices.

The end-to-end framework, dubbed Plaza, will use basic Web standards for development. This will allow the existing Web development community to create widgets for the mobile Internet, while not excluding traditional mobile application developers, and even allow user-generated widgets.

"Plaza is designed such that mobile widgets can come from a number of sources, including operators, Web companies, and leading brands, who all share the ultimate goal of driving subscriber adoption of the mobile Internet. We believe that providing end users with an easy way to extend their online lives to their mobile devices will help drive the uptake of data services," Andrew Gilbert, executive VP and president of Qualcomm Internet Services, MediaFLO Technologies, and Qualcomm Europe, said in a written announcement.

As smartphones increasingly become consumers' choice for accessing the mobile Web, the popularity of mobile widgets is expected to grow. With a plethora of widgets on the iPhone, multiple offerings from Yahoo, and Nokia's widgets, Plaza is wading into increasingly crowded waters.

Qualcomm said Plaza's ease of implementation will give it an advantage over competitors. While Plaza is not device-dependent, operators can integrate it into their hardware and opt to give these widgets prominent placement on the device.

The company did not give a specific date for commercialization, but it's targeting the first quarter of 2009.

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