Industry Begins To Weigh In On Verizon's Open Handset Policy - InformationWeek

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11/27/2007
02:23 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Industry Begins To Weigh In On Verizon's Open Handset Policy

Microsoft is one of the first companies to formally announce that it supports Verizon's new "any apps, any device" idea. So far other companies have remained mum on the subject. You have to wonder what members of the Open Handset Alliance thin

Microsoft is one of the first companies to formally announce that it supports Verizon's new "any apps, any device" idea. So far other companies have remained mum on the subject. You have to wonder what members of the Open Handset Alliance think.You have to love the show of brotherly support. Microsoft Corp. Senior Vice President of the Mobile Communications Business Pieter Knook issued the following statement:

"Microsoft is very excited to see Verizon Wireless make such a bold move to satisfy the demands of wireless consumers. As people's mobile needs become more sophisticated and varied, they will require smarter and more adaptable mobile devices. We are proud to support any open access that puts more power in people's hands to connect them to the information they want when and where they want it."

This is a nice gesture, to be sure. Of course, Microsoft has a vested interest in seeing as many of its own Windows Mobile handsets sold to any and all carriers out there. If being able to port a Windows Mobile handset from one carrier to another gets someone to buy that particular handset, all the better for Microsoft.

Hot on Knook's heals is CTIA - The Wireless Association's President and CEO Steve Largent. He said:

"Over the past several weeks, the wireless industry has repeatedly demonstrated that competitive market forces bring consumers the choices they want and need in a far more efficient and effective manner than can government regulation.

Today's announcement by Verizon Wireless, as well as recent announcements by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile regarding open platforms, show that wireless carriers listen closely to what their customers demand, and act quickly to bring those desired products and services to market.

The commercial wireless industry continues to evolve and works hard to provide what American consumers want and need to stay in-touch and connected in an increasingly mobile world."

True to form, Mr. Largent was swift in issuing his hearty--and completely unsurprising--congratulations to Verizon.

But where are the Open Handset Alliance members? Why are they not cheering this new open initiative? Granted, Verizon didn't exactly sign up for the OHA and start promoting the Android platform, but it has opened up the possibility that Android can be used on its network. Isn't that worth a pat on the back from OHA'ers?

Only Google has offered any words. Says Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO:

"We think this is a great step forward. As the Internet has demonstrated, open models create better services for consumers and stronger businesses for providers. We are excited to work with Verizon and other industry leaders to achieve this vision."

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