In its second acquisition in three months, Alcatel-Lucent is buying OpenPlug, a mobile software vendor.

Terms of this deal have not been disclosed.

In June, the company acquired ProgrammableWeb, which acts as a repository of API-related content. (For more, click here).

OpenPlug’s software helps developers to deploy their applications across multiple platforms, making the apps available to multiple devices. Application developers can write an application once, and it will be “translated” to run on any of the five major mobile operating systems: iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux.

While the phrase "write once, run everywhere" is getting a bit long in the tooth, Laura Merling, VP/global developer strategy at Alcatel-Lucent, said OpenPlug’s software is better than software made by others.

Other translation companies often incorporate some of their own code into the translation process, said Merling: "It’s very challenging to write something for a specific user interface, each device has specific ways to do things. They try to normalize that, then end up changing the consumer experience."

OpenPlug doesn’t normalize; its software creates the application in the device’s native operating system, she said.

The OpenPlug toolset will be available through ProgrammableWeb and also will be incorporated into Alcatel-Lucent’s Developer Platform and Open API Service.

OpenPlug isn’t purely a mobile play, added Merling. Its software can be extended to IPTV set top boxes, game consoles and other platforms. It’s a tool designed for mobile, but can be used across any platform. "If I have Pandora on my iPhone, I might also want to run it on my set-top box," she said.

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily


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