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WAP In Perspective - Page 2

by: Mark Williams
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December 4, 2000

Perception
I recently read an article, which talked - in reasonable depth - about how devices running with a leading manufacturer's software/operating system (and, no I don't mean Microsoft) were so much better than WAP devices, because they didn't stop working if you hit a "black-spot". Admittedly, the article was talking-down WAP in favour of this. But fundamentally, people read this and believe it! Not only are articles such as this down-right misleading and poorly researched, but they make crucial errors! You might as well say, "I'm looking for a comfortable ride, should I buy a Rolls Royce or a Ford Mondeo?". The point is both are cars and both get you from A to B, but everyone knows that the ride will be different - and, as such, probably incomparable.
Why WAP?
Formula 1
"I can get lap by lap information fed to me via my WAP phone. Why the hell would I want to?"
Right now, I have been using WAP since its inception to the UK market and writing applications for it. It hasn't changed my life - I'm not that sad to let it! I am a Formula 1 fan - actually McLaren, but that's by the by. The point is, if I want, I can get lap by lap information fed to me live onto my phone whilst each race goes on. Why? Why the hell would I want to? The fact is, I can watch it on TV - and if I can't get to a TV, I can ring a friend (using my WAP phone) and ask them how the race is going! It's easier, cheaper and I get a more personally tailored approach - and isn't that what the Internet is about right now?
So, why do I continue to use WAP? Well, I use it for work. I can get to my E-Mail, I send quick responses, I can get to my diary; basically, I can do all the usual PIM stuff. It can be a pain to use - and quite fiddly, but I can do it if I wish to. It is good if I'm on the move and need that kind of information quickly.
Our representatives are able to get to current, live rates, stock prices, etc. in real-time, without having to wait for a PC to boot-up, dial-in, authenticate etc… In these kind of environments, WAP is great - and, to a certain extent, it is changing peoples lives because it means they can drill-down to key information reasonably quickly. It means they look like they are working for an up-to-date Company and it means they can get on with what matters, not waiting for PC's to boot.

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