Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has this week announced that it has joined the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). An alliance of global mobile operators that includes Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and China Mobile, WAC members pledge to work together to define, create and deploy a common mobile application platform.
As the first browser vendor to join WAC, Opera's role will naturally center on web-centric application platform development. Opera says its web browser had become an application platform in its own right after the launch of Opera Widgets to the developer community back in 2006.
"Today, almost any phone is capable of running mobile applications written entirely in open web standards -- and WAC is being built around open web standards, so it is valuable to have a web browser company involved," said Peters Suh, CEO, Wholesale Applications Community. "Opera has a proven track record in supporting web standards. Most importantly, it has already delivered standards-compliant widget and web application repositories to major mobile operators."
"For years, we have said that the web is the most important application platform there is," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "Now we have the opportunity to collaborate with global operators to make the web the common platform for mobile applications. This will ensure mobile apps will be available for almost everyone with a mobile phone, not limited to those with smartphones or a particular OS."
Opera products already support the initial WAC 1.0 standard. The new standard is based on an original Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) 1.2.2 standard for mobile phone applications, which Opera previously supported.