When the Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile launches, don’t plan on heading over to pick up any VOIP (Voice Over IP) applications. These are on the list of verboten apps, which also includes any programs that are larger than 10MB or that require you to change the default browser on your handset. In total, there are a dozen rules that developers must follow to create software for the Marketplace.
In fact, the Microsoft rules to developers is reminiscent at first glance of George Carlin’s “seven words you can’t say on television,” but this time no one is really laughing. More importantly however, the rules do make sense. These include things such as no links to sites where users might then have to pay to upgrade the app outside the store, or those that offer alternative data plans.
Marketplace for Mobile is due to launch in the second half of the year, along with Windows Mobile 6.5, the next version of Microsoft’s mobile OS. The full list of 12 prohibited applications is available online.
America is the Unwired Nation
The United States has reached some significant milestones in 2009, among those is that for the first time the number of U.S. households that opt for only a mobile phone now outnumber those that have just a traditional landline. Interestingly, the shift has been accelerated by the recession, which may have caused some users to cut the cord!
This is among the findings from a new survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At present, 20 percent of homes in the U.S. are mobile phone only, while 17 percent of phones have landlines but no cellular service. The study found that the wireless only are likely to include the poor, renters, Southerners, Midwesterners and Hispanics – as well as those living with unrelated adults, such as roommates or unmarried couples.
Much of the latter is understandable to anyone who has lived with roommates or rented a room where sharing a phone was often costly or at times even a privilege. For those with tighter budgets, mobile phones also offer the ability to be on pay-as-you-go and pre pay, thus further making them more affordable.
It is worth noting that there is a two-fold consideration when it comes to the future of landlines. The U.S. has actually trailed in mobile phone development, in part because of the size of the country when compared to most European or Asian nations, but also because we had such excellent landline coverage. Consider that Africa and China have long had more mobile users than landline users simply because landlines weren’t there.
So what does that mean for the future of our landlines? There is the first concern that these could fall into disuse, and where there is disuse there are always reliability problems. Hopefully this will not be the case, especially as DSL and other phone provider Internet service is carried over the phone lines. Losing this broadband would be a problem, at least until reliable everywhere Wi-MAX takes off.
The other possibility is that less usage of traditional landlines could mean greater bandwidth for other high-speed services. If everyone is texting and gabbing on mobile phones, there could be extra bandwidth for consumers, as well as businesses.
The transition to wireless means new possibilities for all those wires.