Microsoft won't support Wap in its handheld device software because it says the mobile internet protocol's functionality is limited and has compared it with the text-based Dos operating system.
Speaking at the software giant's TechEd Europe conference this week, Dilip Mistry, Microsoft's mobility solution centre marketing manager, said Wap functionality would not be delivered natively in the company's Pocket Internet Explorer software. Users would instead have to use third-party Wap browsers, he said.
"Wap can be compared with the functionality that was offered by DOS [on the PC]. It is not a rich internet experience for end users," said Mistry.
At the Cebit trade fair in March, Microsoft executives said the company had been considering including Wap support in Pocket Internet Explorer, but these plans have been scrapped.
Mistry said that users are not really asking for the ability to see Wap pages on handheld devices, and he described the protocol as limited.
The lukewarm response to Wap is significant because Microsoft chairs a group involved in creating a security standard for the protocol.
Separately, Microsoft plans to provide a Soap (Simple Object Access Protocol) client for the Pocket PC next year. Soap is a cross-platform XML technology that is central to much of the company's future development work, particularly around its .Net platform.
Researcher Ovum predicts that the market's focus on Wap as a technology will be eroded through the emergence of new mark-up languages under the XML standard, and Wap will become indistinguishable in its own right by 2003 to 2005.
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