Nokia is putting its weight between two new security standards for mobile devices in the hope of attracting businesses to its products and away from Microsoft.
It has signed up with Pointsec Mobile Technologies to develop encryption technology for smart phones based on its Nokia Series 60 and 80 models, which run on Symbian. It has also announced it will work with Vodafone in creating a new spec for an open standards-based mobile Java services architecture.
According to Bob Egan, principal analyst with Mobile Competency, although Microsoft laid down the gauntlet by stating unequivocally that Java is not the way to go on mobile, Sun disappointed many by not acting as Java evangelist. "Nokia has stepped up and said we will help everybody stage this battle. This announcement shows that they will continue to invest and do deals with Java," Egan said.
Although the Nokia/Vodafone initiative won't introduce any new API specifications, it aims to establish a number of new component Java Specification Requests and clarifications to existing specifications so a consistent Java API services architecture is defined, according to the companies. This will enable Java applications to run on mobile devices from different companies.
That architecture will also include security enhancements for services, such as software components dowloaded to mobile devices. Security is also behind the Pointsec agreement. As the first cell phone manufacturer to be hacked, Nokia wants to polish its security image, Egan said.
"The minute you move up to more capable handsets and higher computing power and more applications that will attract the business market, you have to be thinking about security, and with thehacking incident that happened, encryption has to be high on the list," Egan said.
The encryption technology provides the same security as desktop PCs, claimed Pekka Isosomppi, a spokesperson for Nokia's Enterprise Solutions division, and prevents unauthorised people from accessing stored data in a lost or stolen device.
It is clear Nokia has its gun sites set on Microsoft. "They want to be the mobile equivalent of Windows," said Egan.