Mobile web browser company DVC Labs has raised a round of funding. While it’s certainly nice to see something that could kick off innovation in the mobile browser area, there are a lot of red flags in there for me. For instance the press release doesn’t really say anything besides “we’ve got patents, and not we gots money too sucka!” I’m not really sure that anything like a patent pending technology is going to deliver what we need to get this whole mobile web thingy kicked off.
Take the mobile AJAX angle just to use an example. A good 80% of the problems that are out there on both sides of that debate have nothing to do with anything that should ever be patentable. The problems are that standards are sparsely supported, when they are supported the implementations tend not be be completely conformant, and the environment that these solutions are going into tend not to be built around the same set of standards the applications are delivered via. Sure, there are some bits of magic that could go in there. There’s room to fix up battery life via compressed or otherwise optimized network interaction, ditto for response time. One point out of dozens however, doesn’t even register on the Miker overall response chart.
In general the problems on the mobile web right now are around a lack of consistent application infrastructure fabric to build from. So cool, lets get some better browsers out there, but please leave the “proprietary patented world class technology” out of the mix for a while and build in some “100% open standards conforming” bits instead. Then jam in the patented bits to make your open standards based solution the fastest/coolest/best/sexiest kid on the block. Just my two cents from the active mobile developer angle.