Snapshot from MWA conference

I am attending the Mobile Web Americas conference in Orlando, Fl., together with over 100 other mobile businesses, specialists and the plain curious. There’s not much controversy to report. It’s all very polite.

Novarra says they are intending to recognise mobile specific sites, though Randy Cavaiani says that they will still take content designed for mobile and downgrade it for less-capable devices.  To me, that sounds like mobile-specific sites still won’t be sure that they won’t be able to prevent a Novarra proxy from modifying their carefully crafted content.

Google does not plan to add a “find only mobile sites” feature to their mobile search, according to Gummi Hafsteinsson. He did say, however, that they work with carriers to get certain kind of information (such as location) to tailor the search. Interestingly, he also said that Google remembers cities and other locations you’ve used in previous searches, and uses that as a “poor man’s GPS” to establish some location context for your current search.

I thought things might heat up when Jon von Tetzchner (CEO, Opera) made a historical reference to Microsoft impeding the development of standards, though he relaxed this point by suggesting that things have improved recently. Sanjiv Parikh of Microsoft responded by listing advances in standards that they have innovated: .Net, Silverlight and XAML. Of course, these are all proprietary Microsoft technologies, so I’m not so sure that these were good examples. I think Sanjiv was confusing industry standards with open/formal standards.

And all this before the first break. I’m presenting after the lunch, and I’ll record my impressions later. For now, I’ll listen to Jon from Opera, who has just taken to the floor.

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