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Time to BREW?

In summary, BREW was designed to meet the needs of wireless application developers, who want a platform that offers a long-term customer base, doesn't lock them into a technology that prevents porting to other platforms, doesn't require a rewrite of the application for multiple platforms and devices, can effectively distribute the application to a customer base without too much cost, and can quickly make money on the application. BREW offers developers these features:

  • An optimized execution environment: Native BREW code is written in C or C++, resulting in highly efficient code that works well in an environment constrained by memory, storage, and processing power. Applications developed with BREW can run on smaller, mass-market devices, which opens up a wider customer base than the ones created using Java or other development systems that run on top of a virtual machine and require high-end handsets.

  • Writing BREW extensions: If you're a developer who writes tools and technologies used by other application developers, this is a great way for you to get your products to the wider developer community. BREW extensions may be VMs, parsers, authentication plug-ins, media players, synchronization plug-ins, and so on that could be used for other application development.

  • Support for different development environments: With the JVM extensions, developers can also develop Java-based applications on the BREW platform.

  • Low cost of porting to multiple devices: Because BREW provides the abstraction between the operating system and the application, the amount of effort required to port the application is minimal.

  • Business model based on tangible returns: The download and billing system lets consumers download applications, records the transactions for the network operators, and handles all payments to the developer. This is perhaps one of the most significant advantages to developing on the BREW platform.

The market for mobile applications is still in its infancy, but it's growing up fast. BREW has been deployed in markets worldwide, including KTF in South Korea, KDDI in Japan, and Verizon Wireless and ALLTEL in the United States. China Unicom is slated to start the service in 2003. These carriers have deployed games, encyclopedias, streaming video, productivity applications, ring tones, road maps, real-time traffic reports, sports and weather news, and financial applications. The developer has an opportunity to reach an existing customer base using low-end devices, and to ride the future growth of high-end devices with BREW applications.

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