OCT 11 2010 NEW REPORT AND BLOG POST ON RCS HERE
I'm utterly buried with work & travel this week, so can't dig into this very deeply, but the GSMA has just announced its next iteration of RCS.
A key feature seems to be support for PC clients, which makes a huge amount of sense - and indeed, is just about the only area where there's historically been traction for these kind of enhanced operator services, through the efforts of software vendors like Movial.
That said, at first sight the press release seems to focus on multi-device sharing and interoperability, rather than integration into web-based services. My view is that RCS would probably get most rapid traction if it came as a slick Facebook plug-in, or interoperable with other social networking platforms.
The problem will likely be that most of the mobile operators will try to "own" the address book and hook it into subscription databases, rather than leverage a more open (or at least access-independent) contact list located online.
Should also be interesting to see what happens if I put MNO#1's RCS client onto a PC or other device connected via #2's mobile broadband......
I'll try & get a full briefing from GSMA or one of the partners when I can, although it's not likely to be until next week at the earliest.
Incidentally, the membership list for RCS supporters still seems to be missing a few important potential members, like Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, HTC, Facebook, Skype , Palm, Vodafone, H3G, Sprint, Cisco and so on.
Although after the treatment of Google Voice by the Apple AppStore guys & the ensuing FCC brouhaha, the RCS folk must be smirking about their chances of getting a client onto iPhones without direct support from Mr Jobs....