Startup Time Machine // The Evolution – Part II

Looking for Part I?

(if it gets too geeky for you jump a few paragraphs)

J2ME was a hot topic in 2002 but it also had a lot of issues, to start with not all phones supported Java, each manufacturer implementation would be different than the other which along the time would become a real headache, specially for a hobbyist mobile developer like myself with very limited resources.

To make things worse, MSN changed the authentication protocol and MSNPstarted using SSL. Before SSL it was using a much simpler MD5 hashing algorithm which was simply not enough any more. The issue from my side was that most J2ME phones didn’t support SSL so this was a major blow and I needed to find a solution until October 2003. Eventually the solution seemed natural, if it can’t run on the mobile phones, switch the app from a client stand-alone architecture to a client-server architecture.
The biggest change was that now the Instant Messaging sessions would run on the server side and not on the devices. This would solve the SSL issue on the J2ME phones and the devices would use a WAP browser to communicate with the server over HTTP.
I quickly figured out that if I was building a WAP version over HTTP I might as well build a HTML version, it’s the same approach, only the syntax is different. Internet on mobile phones was starting to pick up and there were also plenty of new phones coming out with coloured screens and support forXHTML so it started to make sense to pursue that strategy.

All of a sudden there was light in my head, I really thought that this is was the way to go and this new reality would also require a different name, calling it PalmMSN didn’t make much sense anymore and Everywhere MSN or eMSN was born!

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