Corporate users of WAP (wireless application protocol) phones use these data-transferring, Web-browsing devices just like an ordinary mobile phone – for talking.

Market-research and consulting company Meta Group Inc. conducted 15 informal surveys of between 50 and 100 users of WAP-enabled phones, discovering that 80 per cent to 90 per cent of corporate users surveyed quit using the data capabilities, and use the phones for voice communications only. Analysts from the Stamford, Conn.-based research firm said users find it too difficult to get information from a cell phone – that the effort of punching phone keys outweighed the threshold for perceived value.

Web services unites tech giants … somewhat

Companies that for the most part have agreed to disagree appear to be making an exception when it comes to Web services, an emerging computing model that seems to be changing its definition as fast as it gathers new support.

While they engaged in some of the usual corporate head-butting, representatives from Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp. found time for moments of accord during a panel discussion at Partech International’s Web Services Conference. At the heart of their agreement was a set of technology standards that the rivals agree will be central to the next stage of Internet computing. Still largely a concept, Web services describes a computing model in which information can be pulled together over the Internet from a variety of sources and assembled, on the fly, into services that are useful to businesses and consumers.

Encrypted mobile phone hits market

A specially modified mobile phone that encrypts conversations is now available worldwide, offering business executives, government officials and law enforcement officers the ability to talk via a secure connection even while on the move.

The TopSec GSM phone is based on Siemens AG’s popular S35i GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset, modified with a so-called “crypto-chip,” said spokesman Stefan B