dotMobi Grabs Assets of Mowser

Dublin-based dotMobi, backed by Ericsson, Google, Microsoft and Nokia, said Friday it has bought the assets of Mowser, the 1-year-old mobile browsing firm that threw in the towel in April.

Financial Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mowser, based in San Mateo, California, provided a service to help create mobile versions of web sites.

In April, co-founder Russell Beattie, bemoaning Mowser’s inability to raise funding and declining growth, called an end to the company’s development and warned that the service “could disappear in the future.â€?

In the blog posting, Mr. Beattie that the he had expected development of the mobile web in the West to follow the upward trajectory of Japan and Korea, but “now I’m sure it isn’t going to.â€? In explaining why he was giving up the ghost, Mr. Beattie said he had maxed out his credit cards, had his car repossessed twice and was deeply in debt to family and friends.

dotMobi said it planed to integrate Mowser’s technology into business and consumer mobile development tools as well as dotMobi’s creation tools.

dotMobi is a consortium that promotes the growth of Internet use on mobile devices. Other backers include Samsung Electronics, T-Mobile and Vodafone, joint venture partner with Verizon Communications in Verizon Wireless.

In a statement, Trey Harvin, chief executive of dotMobi, warned that content owners need to maintain control of their content.

« At its heart, Mowser is a PC website-to-mobile website content adaptation engine, » he said. « dotMobi has been vocal against ‘blind’ content adaptation because it doesn’t allow site owners to have control over their content. dotMobi believes that brands and businesses should always have the final say over how their material is presented, and that the content should uniquely take advantage of the capabilities of a mobile device.â€?

author : Ken Schachter

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