2009 is shaping to be the year when Mobile Internet/Web/Cloud services really started going
After success of Apple, everyone and their grandma is lunching their own mobile app stores. Music and games delivered to your phone via operator’s data connection is a nobrainer for most of the mobile players. And let’s not get started about Mapping/Location based/Social thing. .
The next frontier is creating a cloud service for all that data on your smartphone and syncing it, so it’s safe, up to date and accessible from anywhere. Nokia tries to do this with OVI, Apple has Mobile.me. Now Microsoft and Google is joining the fray.
Microsoft will be launching the beta version of it’s MyPhone service for syncing information between mobile phone and the web during MWC 2009 in Barcelona next week.
Microsoft already has a preview site running and says that the the new service will allow you to “…back-up and restore phone’s information to a password protected website, access and update appointments through the web and share the photos on your phone with family and friends…”
For now service is free and works only with Windows Mobile handsets. But these things will probably change in not too distant future.
Careful wording on MyPhone site – “…we do not charge for the My Phone service at this time” suggests that there may be a paid offering in the future. Probably with basic free version and more advanced paid one.
I also have it on pretty good authority that the exclusivity of Windows Mobile phones on this service is not a permanent thing. Microsoft will open My Phone to third party/OS handsets through ActiveSync Exchange as soon the service is ready.
Google today also announced their own synchronization service – Google Sync (beta) for iPhone, WinMo and SyncML phones.
iPhone and WinMo phone owners can sync their contacts and calendars with GMail and Google calendar. All the data will be updated via push technology over the air, using two way connection. So your data on the phone and PC will be always fresh and synchronized, without the hassles of manual updates or wired connections.
Unfortunately other phones with SyncML support are not so lucky and will not get calendar sync just yet. Only contact updates are available for them.
For now Google Sync service seems rather limited compared to offerings from Microsoft, Nokia and Apple. But everyone appears to be moving in the same direction with their mobile cloud services, and the clash between the big players in this field seems imminent.
My guess is that this year all of them will continue rolling out and integrating various mobile/cloud offerings, with the real showdown and fight for the user attention starting sometime next year, probably around MWC 2010.
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