Thursday, May 31, 2007

MoMo Bangalore May: jB5

(...Thanks to the MoMo Bangalore guys!)
Finally the big day arrived!
We were a little confused about how we should approach this event, whether we should look at providing a full demonstration of the mobile browser on the screen, or just a presentation of why we launched jB5 for free on Symbian and Windows Mobile.
We decided to do both :P
So we made a presentation more about the idealogy, the reason why we were giving jB5 for download on Symbian and Windows Mobile, when we actually sell the product with devices, before they are launched.
Regarding the demonstration, since I am rather scared of Live Demonstrations (since they are doomed to fail :P ), we made a video... so that while people may see a demonstration, the chances of it being a success, were higher ;-)
Also, we could get more people to just download it :p

Anyway, there we were, all packed and raring to go!
We reached the venue, and then realise there were not two, but four buildings of Nokia Siemens Networks, in the same area :-O
Finally we reached the place, and got the posters out!
It was an intimidating crowd, lots of new people!
The presentation raised a lot of questions, starting with the whole showcase vs. use-case argument about why we were showcasing our jB5 on Symbian and Windows Mobile, which already had enough browsers such as Opera Mobile, the Nokia S60 browser (based on the Apple Safari open-source code) and the Pocket Internet Explorer on the Windows Mobile platform.
Ofcourse, the argument is that we do this, to be able to directly compete with these products, on their home-turf, and let users provide their feedback on how we can better compete!
But where we target this browser, is the low-end market (think Razr kind of phones) where such products do not exist. Since the jB5 uses the same core engine, we would be able to provide the same kind of features on these platforms, after getting these features vindicated on the high-end Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms.
The second question was regarding how we can hope to better the Opera Mini.
The obvious point is, we can't!
The Opera Mini is designed as a thin client, that is, it has a back-end server which does all the real hard work, while the 98KB J2ME client, is just a window.
So, the Opera Mini is a solution for the low-end handsets today, which have their memory restriction as well as a restriction on the amount of bandwidth, since most data plans are still per KB, which means that more the bandwidth consumed, more the bill!
That also means, that the user has no option on how the content is to be viewed on the handset, since this view has already been set at the server.

But the jB5, is looking further, at the opportunity for the user to load the content, and then decide how he would like to be served. Hence, the jB5, is looking at the future, not at the present ;)

The third question was, what happens when we start charging for downloading jB5. The truth is, we never will ;-) This is a great opportunity for us to get evaluations out on a few reference platforms, with lots of support from the great mobile afficionado community :-P
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