Universal app platform attracts funding and scepticism

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Universal app platform attracts funding and scepticism

Webinos promises revolution, questions remain.

A new “one platform to rule them all” for application development has received €10 million ($14 million) in EU funding, but been met with scepticism from the developer community.

Dubbed Webinos, the project aims to promote a “single service for every device” by defining an open-source platform with web runtime extensions.

Once up and running, the programme would allow developers to write once for PCs, mobile phones and web TVs.

Headed up by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (Fokus), the consortium is made up of 22 organisations, including manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson and Samsung and major telcos such as Telecom Italia as well as the standards body the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

It might sound like a dream ticket for developers, who could in theory write the application once and see their work thrive on multiple platforms and devices, but developers are unsure the project has legs in an environment where companies compete by differentiation.

"If Apple don't come to the table, you're eliminating yourself from one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the world," Shashi Fernando, CEO of content delivery company Saffron Digital, told the BBC.

"I think the problem is that these groups don't really understand there are companies that... create platforms that work across multiple devices. There is no interest in a standardisation of platforms because those companies need to differentiate their product."

With 22 partners, said Fernando, there were too many companies with vested interest to make decisions on the project.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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