Architecture and Hardware Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

Much was expected from mobile commerce by now. The move from mortar to modem was to be the prelude to the next step of conducting business(es) wirelessly. What happened? It’s certainly not because the multibillion-dollar promised land turned into a mirage; it’s that researchers and service providers are finding it takes more than a map and a good idea to get there.

This month’s special section explores the technical, business, and social opportunities and challenges of m-commerce. Guest editors Andrew Urbaczewski, Joseph Valacich, and Leonard Jessup have assembled a collection of articles to examine why reality has not matched expectations as well as the practical tools and techniques needed to reverse this situation. The featured authors trace the ways m- and e-commerce differ from and complement each other; the prevailing weaknesses of the wireless protocol; the variables that spell success for some devices; the importance of context in information presentation; and the best ways to take advantage of the "m" in m-commerce.

The distinctions and corresponding characteristics between m- and e-commerce can be further examined and appreciated in the special Virtual Extension to this issue addressing the questions, answers, and real-life experiences of moving from brick to click. This edition of 29 articles reflects the e-commerce spectrum, covering everything from online authentication to privacy and trust concerns, customer and interface loyalties, purchasing behaviors, content preparation, skill acquisition, service solutions, the latest transaction tools, and much more. You can find this e-commerce edition at portal.acm.org/cacm/ve1203.

Also this month, Spangler et al. introduce a method for delivering targeted advertising to television viewers for the day—fast approaching—when television, and more importantly, commercial viewing and related business practices are transformed by personal video recorders and other forms of entertainment-delivering digital devices. Kishore et al. explore the evolution of IT outsourcing relationships using the accounts of four very different companies and their vendor relationships. And China’s mobile communications market may boast almost 250 million subscribers, but as Xu Yan explains, getting customers to pay for extra m-services is quite a different story.

Lastly, I point you to the slate of nominees for ACM’s 2004 General Elections on page 14. Further information about the candidates and this major election will continue as the election draws near.

Diane Crawford,


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