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Danger Brings Java to Hiptop

Wireless software maker Danger, which has made a splash with its hiptop all-in-one wireless device designs, has moved to further expand the capabilities of its devices by licensing Sun Microsystems' Java 2 Standard, Micro Edition (J2ME).

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Danger said that with the license in place it plans to launch products that are compliant with the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) and Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) specifications, opening the door for Java developers to create new applications and services for the hiptop platform.

Hiptop-based devices, like the T-Mobile Sidekick, give users the ability to surf the Web, send and receive email, use instant messengers, play games, take and email photographs, and make phone calls. Danger said the addition of J2ME will increase the usefulness of its platform by giving users access to Java applications like games, location-based services, financial information, personal productivity tools, and entertainment services.

The deal may also make Danger's technology more attractive to carriers angling for enterprise customers. In October, when T-Mobile launched its Sidekick, Gartner analyst Todd Kort told internetnews.com that the technology's proprietary nature could dissuade enterprise customers. He said industry users tend to prefer products that are more flexible or ubiquitous, like Palm OS and Microsoft Windows CE.

Without a standards-based technology, or extremely wide reach (in Microsoft's case), Kort suggested that Danger would primarily challenge Research In Motion's (RIM) Blackberry technology, rather than offering up a serious challenge to PDA and smartphone giants like Palm and Microsoft. The addition of J2ME to the hiptop lineup could be the technology that turns that tide.

Danger's Hiptop Wireless Solution includes a device design that can be private labeled by wireless carriers, a platform for the development of third-party applications, and a back-end software framework to support the delivery of data services.

Initially, the firm launched hiptop with technology from Intel, Beatnik, Kyocera and TTPCom, as well as licensed third-party applications and content by UIEvolution, nGame, Upoc, ActiveBuddy, Pumatech and SEVEN.