Mobile phone shipment volumes are so huge that Microsoft and Apple aspire to capture only a fraction of the total market. Carriers and handset makers haven't made interoperability of mobile devices' address books or calendars a high priority. Funambol is a company and an open source community dedicated to making further mobile device interoperability progress through support of open standards such as SyncML, which one billion phones already support. Will it be enough to overcome the walled gardens of the mobile device industry? Helio's recent embrace of Funambol is a promising sign. Will the era of the iPhone bring further progress? Can Funambol's platform outpace the Blackberry? Does offline access such as Google Gears change the game for today's data synchronization solutions? Capobianco also talks about why modified GPL licenses that oblige service providers to contribute certain software code back are the wave of the future.
Fabrizio Capobianco, a serial entrepreneur and veteran executive at Reuters and Tibco, is CEO of Funambol. He founded the first Italian Web company, Internet Graffiti, in 1994. He also founded Stigma Online, developer of an information portal product with customers that included Kraft, Novartis, Italian Broadcasting Television and the Italian Stock Exchange. Capobianco has taught courses on wireless and mBusiness strategies at the University of Pavia in Italy, where he holds a Ph.D. in computer science with a focus on usability. Fabrizio was recognized in 2007 as a top "40 under 40" leader by American Venture Magazine and by the readers of Mobile Village for being a consumer email visionary. He writes a blog that was voted among the 20 best in the wireless industry by FierceWireless.
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