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Mobilizing: Microsoft, AOL, Opera In Mobile News

Tech companies keep busy in Barcelona

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The GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona spurred a few mobile-related items of interest, including Microsoft acquisition news that does not involve Yahoo.

Microsoft chose to get closer to Danger, a mobile software-as-a-service provider best known for its work on the Sidekick devices offered by T-Mobile. Financial terms of Microsoft’s purchase of the Palo Alto-based company were not disclosed.

Mobilizing: Microsoft, AOL, Opera In Mobile News

The deal looks like a play for Danger’s younger userbase. Microsoft disclosed it plans to integrate Danger with existing technologies in its Entertainment & Devices division, where unit head Robbie Bach gets to play with Danger along with Zune, Xbox, and MSN Mobile.

AOL announced the debut of a new open mobile software platform at GSMA. The platform becomes available this summer, with open APIs for AOL services like AIM, MapQuest, and Truveo among the many developers can use, as well as third-party APIs.

“The platform will consist of three components: an XML-based, next-generation markup language; an ultra-lightweight mobile device client; and an application server,” said AOL. Application developers also gain the ability to incorporate advertising options from AOL’s Platform-A service.

In the ‘strange choice of words’ department, Opera Software said its Opera Mini mobile browser has “achieved more than 35 million cumulative users.” Maybe ‘cumulative users’ is a Norwegian thing, but 35 million is a nice slice of the mobile phone community.

“When you download Opera Mini, you cast a vote for a better mobile Web experience,” Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement. “Operators and device manufacturers all over the world have listened and are now helping to shape a new era of openness.”

We noted Microsoft’s Danger acquisition, but they have been even more active on the mobile side of the business. The company made several other announcements of deals that cover Latin America, Italy, and Russia; they also revealed the Windows Live Developer @mobile program.

Also, Microsoft tied up a few deals for mobile advertising in Europe. Several mobile publishers, including Orange in Spain, and L’Equipe, have tapped Microsoft’s platform for mobile ad serving. A busy day, even without more developments on their talks with Yahoo.

Mobilizing: Microsoft, AOL, Opera In Mobile News
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