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An open standard for video calls

The mobile space is experiencing unprecedented competition, and as a consequence, innovation. Apple, Google’s Android, now HP/Palm Pre, RIM, and far, far in the rear, we see visions of Microsoft, are rapidly increasing the functionality of mobile devices. I’m almost at the threshold where I would rather go without my laptop than my mobile. New features are driving much of the increased value of mobiles: emails, social networking, videos, images, and the early stages of video calling. Apple has taken a bit of a chapter from the “compete on openness” mindset of Google by announcing a new open standard for video calls:

…one detail that could have the biggest long-term impact well beyond Apple itself was the introduction of Apple’s new video calling system, FaceTime. Jobs said on stage that the system was based on extensive use of open technical standards, and that the company intends to work hard to make FaceTime an open industry standard itself.

Live mobile video, interoperable across different phones and carriers, could be a force for major changes in the way we experience the Web and the world…Nothing can be taken for granted, but if Apple can help advance a cross-network standard for real-time mobile video communication – that could become one of the company’s most important contributions to the world.