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Wireless Phone Industry Scraps WAP

If the events in the Web business over the last few months weren't shocking enough, the mobile phone industry delivered this bombshell earlier today: they are abandoning WAP. A new protocol called The Mobile Services Initiative (or M-Services) will take its place.

According to the Reuters article, "M-Services... aims to introduce an open software and hardware standard within mobile Internet in a bid to avoid the fiasco which surrounded the first attempt at mobile Internet... WAP...."

It's hard to know whether to praise this development or condemn it. On one hand, the industry ought to be praised for taking WAP outside and shooting it. No Web developer who evaluated the protocol objectively liked it. On the other hand, where does this leave the consumers who upgraded to WAP-enabled phones who did not end up using that function? Also, the providers and businesses who invested in WAP-specific resources or projects are probably going to end up high and dry.

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