WAP & Palm

Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@ics.uci.edu)
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 12:03:03 -0700

Looks like a job for 4K. 3Com eyes using WAP for devices.
How this made CNN is beyond me.



3Com eyes WAP for use in Palm

July 19, 1999
Web posted at: 1:46 p.m. EDT (1746 GMT)

by James Niccolai

(IDG) -- 3Com Corp. is exploring
an emerging technology called the
Wireless Access Protocol for
possible use in its Palm computer, a
move that would bring new Web
browsing capabilities to the popular
handheld device, analysts and
sources familiar with the matter said
this week.

Moving to WAP would be a significant step for 3Com, which has invested
heavily to develop a text-based technology called "Web Clipping" for its
wireless Palm VII, which was launched in May in the New York area. But
analysts said the momentum growing behind WAP might not leave 3Com
with any choice but to switch to WAP.

Web Clipping allows mobile users to download short bursts of text
information from Web sites that have tailored content for 3Com's
technology. Web Clipping doesn't allow users to surf the Web at large, but
downloads information to "query applications" offered by more than 60
firms, including United Airlines, The Weather Channel, ETrade Group Inc.
and The Wall Street Journal. The list of content and service providers using
Web Clipping is growing, and users can download new query applications
from Palm's Web site, 3Com said.

In contrast, WAP provides a set of open standards that allow mobile
devices like cell phones, pagers and handheld computers to browse content
on the Web. Sites, however, must be reformatted to support a programming
language called Wireless Markup Language which supports both text and
bitmap images.

WAP still is an emerging technology, but the
industry momentum behind it, combined
with its potential to offer users greater
freedom to surf the Internet, may force
3Com to make a transition from Web
Clipping to WAP, analysts said.

"I think they would be foolish not to support
WAP. They're trying to push Web Clipping
as a metaphor for surfing the Web, but I
don't think they'll be that successful," said
Ken Dulaney, vice president of mobile
computing research with market analyst firm
Gartner Group Inc. in San Jose, California.

Dulaney characterized 3Com's apparent
reluctance to move to WAP as "a touch of

"I think it's stupid for them to wait," he said. "They ought to be in the middle
of things. They're obviously waiting, but what they're waiting for I don't

3Com denies it has any plans to move away from its proprietary technology,
although the company acknowledges that WAP is on its radar screen.

"We're certainly looking at WAP and find it very interesting, but we don't
have any imminent plans" to use the technology, Tammy Medanich, product
marketing manager with 3Com's Palm Computing division, said in a recent