I’m confused. Is it the dawn of a new mass medium? Or death?

Earlier this week , Russell Beattie, in announcing he’s pulling the plug on his year-old startup, Mowser , that provides web publishers the ability to easily publish a light-weight versions of websites for mobile device web browser, declared, “I think anyone currently developing sites using XHTML-MP markup, no Javascript, geared towards cellular connections and two inch screens are simply wasting their time, and I’m tired of wasting my time, and went on to say: “The argument up to now has been simply that there are roughly 3 billion phones out there, and that when these phones get on the Internet, their vast numbers will outweigh PCs and tilt the market towards mobile as the primary web device. … Let’s face it, you really aren’t going to spend any real time or effort browsing the web on your mobile phone unless you’re using Opera Mini, or have a smart phone with a decent browser – as any other option is a waste of time, effort and money.

Earlier this week, Russell Beattie, in announcing he’s pulling the plug on his year-old startup, Mowser, that provides publishers the ability to easily publish light-weight versions of websites for mobile device web browsers, declared, “I think anyone currently developing sites using XHTML-MP markup, no Javascript, geared towards cellular connections and two inch screens are simply wasting their time, and I’m tired of wasting my time.

He went on to say:

“The argument up to now has been simply that there are roughly 3 billion phones out there, and that when these phones get on the Internet, their vast numbers will outweigh PCs and tilt the market towards mobile as the primary web device. The problem is that these billions of users haven’t gotten on the Internet, and they won’t until the experience is better and access to the web is barrier-free – and that means better devices and “full browsers”. Let’s face it, you really aren’t going to spend any real time or effort browsing the web on your mobile phone unless you’re using Opera Mini, or have a smart phone with a decent browser – as any other option is a waste of time, effort and money. Users recognize this, and have made it very clear they won’t be using the “Mobile Web” as a substitute for better browsers, rather they’ll just stay away completely.

Today, Colin Crawford, Interactive EVP of the business-to-business media giant IDG, called Mobile devices the “dawn of a new mass medium,” and declared, “As mobile usage continues to surge, IDG will be at the forefront – guiding users through the choices of hardware, software and services, developing content and services for our mobile audiences and working closely with marketers to find the most appropriate ways to engage with mobile users and to measure the impact of that engagement. It’s going to be a very exciting journey.

He went on to say:

“According to the International Tellecommunications Union there are over 3.3 billion mobile phone subscribers (2.6 billion unique users) – that’s not far off 50% of the world’s population. The mobile industry is already significantly larger than the internet with its 1.3 billion users and it continues to grow rapidly. There were 1.14 billion units shipped in 2007, according to IDC, and that number is expected to increase by 8.7% to 1.24 billion units in 2008.”

I quote. You decide.