EU pumps €10m into web apps group

The European Union is backing attempts to standardize apps development by pumping €10 million into an open source project involving telcos, equipment makers and car manufacturers.
A consortium of 20 companies and universities are participating in the WEBINOS project, which pledges to end the current fragmentation of operating system-specific apps by defining an open source platform and tools that enable web apps to be developed.
“The vision of the project is to create ‘a universal application platform,” project leader Stephan Steglich says. “That means we aim to enable the use of web applications consistently and securely across all internet-enabled screens, including mobile, PC, TV and in-car entertainment units.”
Backers include Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, BMW, Samsung Electronics UK, the National Technical University of Athens, Belgium’s Interdisciplinary Institute of Broadband Technology, and Italy’s Politecnico di Torino.
The World Wide Web Consortium will produce technical standards for the WEBINOS reference platform.
“Our goal is the development of a secure platform that facilitates the creation of applications for multiple, heterogeneous, devices and operating systems,” Steglich explains.
However, critics claim the scheme won’t be a success without the backing of Apple.
Shashi Fernando, head of content delivery firm Saffron Digital, pointed out the consortium was effectively shut-off from Apple’s fast-growing market share, and said WEBINOS is too similar to current content management platforms to succeed, the BBC reported.