Position paper for Adam Goodfellow and Dave Hitchman Microsoft Corp.

Converging W3C technologies with WAP

Microsoft is marketing a 'dual mode' browser capable of handling both web content provided usingW3C technologies and WAP technologies. It is obviously technically in our interests to converge these two modes to provide an ever more capable browser.

Despite its widespread acceptance and the proven (MME v1) ability of phones to use standard WEB techniques to present content to the user it has been considered necessary to define a new suite of protocols and languages to provide a better user experience on the limited devices that are current phones. Which advantages does WAP give, and which are important to this improved user experience?

Variables and scripting allow limited dynamic content, checking of form content and dynamic behaviour based on user input.

Events allowing control when the user performs specific functions. Structure, wml cards allow the author to define a structure to the way large amounts of data can be viewed. The ability to get content to a phone to alert the user to events allows many of the interesting scenarios. These will be important to the widespread use of whatever technology is applied on the phones.

Device capability, mobile phone capability varies much more than for standard desk top PC's, from support for image formats and script to screen size and colour depth.

What other technologies should WAP influence? The phone is normally used for speech based communication, the input and display abilities of the phones available are somewhat limited, a lot of companies are interested in VoiceXML, the definition of this should take into account its possible use on phone hardware.