HANOVER: The chief executives of Opera and Mozilla have stressed the importance of upcoming web applications as they will allow people to access services across multiple devices regardless of platform.
Mozilla's Gary Kovacs told CeBIT attendees that the web app market is potentially bigger than the mobile app market, as there are three million web developers compared to 10,000 Android and 43,000 iOS developers.
"Imagine what happens when we turn three to five million developers around the world loose on an app model? It will explode, and that's what is going to happen in the next three years," he said.
"We have to solve this common denominator problem called the platform, and the whole point is that the web is the platform."
Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera, agreed that the only really open platform is the web, and took a swipe at native offerings from Apple.
"Basically we've moved from native applications to web applications because we'd like to be able to choose our computers and operating systems, and we'd like to keep the world as we know it with us," he said.
"There is a lot of noise about the 350,000 applications in the Apple store, and it's impressive, it's great. But how many web sites are there?"
Tetzchner noted that the web can bring desktop functionality to mobile devices, and that there is no need for specific platforms such as WAP, which he said "was a mistake".
"We tried that with WAP and WAP 2. To me, the native applications are kind of like WAP 3. But people really want interoperability and to be able to do the same on mobile devices [as on desktops]," he said.
"The sites that people browse on the mobile and PC are for the most part the same. It's natural that, if you're chatting on Facebook on the PC, you'll chat on Facebook on your mobile."
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