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Sprint Customers Getting a PC-Like Experience of the Open Internet on Their Phones

Thu Mar 20, 2008 - 9:28 AM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell


Update Hmmm, seems I should have looked further into OpenWeb. One of our readers wrote in and pointed me to a TreoCentral Forum thread in which this OpenWeb is discussed. And these folks aren't at all happy with what's been going on lately. Here's a quote from the email I received:

It broke just about everything we currently like to do with Blazer/Kinoma/pTunes.

Go read that thread that I linked above. From what I've read, this doesn't sound too good afterall. But hopefully things will get ironed out before Sprint actually rolls out OpenWeb.

According to an article at FierceWireless, Sprint will continue its leadership in employing an open Internet model with the launch of an enhanced mobile Web browsing experience on virtually all Web-capable Sprint phones. Sprint will be the first U.S. carrier to launch the OpenWeb solution from OpenWave Systems Inc. Sprint customers will be able to get faster and more user-friendly renderings of Internet sites, even those not optimized for the mobile device. According the article, this enhancement will be automatic for customers who currently access the Internet on their phones and will require no additional action on their part. Sweet! I'd like to see a demo of this in action soon.

From the article:

“Whether clicking through the Sprint portal or typing in a URL, both new and existing customers can use their Sprint phones to search virtually any Web site and it will appear quickly and in a format they’re used to seeing on their computer screens,” said Kevin Packingham, vice president of wireless product management for Sprint. “By working with Openwave, we’re making that Internet experience even more customer-friendly and useful by enhancing the ability to translate non-mobile sites onto the mobile phone. While other carriers are just beginning to talk about open ecosystem initiatives, Sprint is continuing its efforts to give customers an even better experience with the Internet that we have always allowed.”

With Openwave OpenWeb, the Web sites that Sprint customers visit on their mobile phones will automatically appear on data-enabled Sprint phones in an easy-to-read format that's closer to a desktop experience of the Internet, regardless of the memory or processing power of the device. Wow, that sure sounds great! And brings to mind Apple's Safari. It's just a matter of time before other companies catch up with Apple and have a beautiful Web browser on their devices. And if one comes out that looks better than Safari, I think I'll pass out!

The Openwave OpenWeb will be available nationwide in the coming weeks, and this enhancement follows Sprint's launch of a more user-friendly mobile search product, Microsoft's enhanced Live Search for mobile, in 2007.

The article also reports that Sprint plans to launch additional mobile Web innovations in 2008 that will further enhance users’ experience on their mobile device. To access the mobile Web, customers should click on the Web icon on their phone’s main menu. Hmmm, sounds great and I'm sure all you Centro, Treo 755p, and Treo 700wx users are excited about this.

Here's a PDF that tells about OpenWeb, explaining exactly what it is and how it works. Interesting stuff.

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