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Google Zeros In On Mobile Web

Google Inc. on Thursday started testing a mobile-phone service that searches websites that have been designed to deliver content customized for the small screens of cellular phones.

Google Mobile Web Search targets sites that use XHTML as the technology for delivering content to handsets. XHTML, or extensible HTML, is a web-page markup language that has been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, an international standards body.

The technology combines HTML with the more powerful extensible markup language, or XML, to enable a web server to deliver content tailored to the accessing device.

To use the Google service, people go to the company's homepage via the web browser on their phones, type in their search query and select "Mobile Web (Beta)" as their search option. The National Basketball Association is an example of an organization that offers XHTML-based content for handsets, Google said.

More web content has been tailored for cellular phones in Asia, particular in Japan and South Korea, than in the PC-centric United States and in Europe, Deep Nishar, director of products for Google, said. As a result, web content in the latter countries is generally more difficult to view on a handset.

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