Move over, Ajax. Here comes Microsoft's 'Kojax'

The latest Microsoft mobile-related development about which I'm most intrigued is codenamed "Kojax.". Kojax is a mobile development platform, according to my sources, that will allow Microsoft- -- and third-party-developed -- applets run in an Ajax-like way on Java-based mobile phones.

Let me start out by saying I don't know whether Microsoft will finally decide to sell a Microsoft-branded Windows Mobile phone. (Company officials have gone back and forth over that idea for more than a year.) But I do know that the Softies have some other interesting phone-related developments in the works.

I'm not talking about Windows Mobile 6.5 or 7.0 (or even Pink or Rouge). Instead, the latest Microsoft mobile-related development about which I'm most intrigued is codenamed "Kojax."

Kojax is a mobile development platform, according to my sources, that will allow Microsoft- -- and third-party-developed -- applets run in an Ajax-like way, using a combination of Visual Studio tools and JavaScript, on Java-based mobile phones.

(Ajax, according to a somewhat layperson-like definition on Wikipedia, is a set of programming techniques and technologies for building Web apps and/or rich Internet apps.)

What kinds of mobile applets are we talking about here? Nothing iPhone-like, such as restaurant reviews or "I am Rich." More like a virtual wallet for online payments, a group messaging service and photo-sharing app -- things that build on top of Windows Live for Mobile services. Some of these Kojax-based applets will ad-funded; others will likely be transaction- and subscription-based.

Another interesting part of the Kojax tips I've received: Microsoft allegedly is aiming its Kojax applet plans primarily at users in emerging markets.

The Kojax work may or may not be related to a recent Unlimited Potential initiative about which I recently heard, known as "Mobile First." Mobile First is all about users whose first Microsoft-related experience tends to be in the mobile-phone, rather than the PC, realm. (Given Microsoft's recent acknowledgment that China Mobile will offer the first handsets running Internet Explorer 6, it's not far-fetched to see how/why Microsoft is putting so much emphasis on emerging-market customers.)

I haven't been able to glean much more about Kojax and Microsoft's mobile applet plans. So before you ask, I don't know what stage Kojax is at: It could be anything from a glimmer in a Microsoft development team's eye, or something in private beta. I've asked Microsoft for comment, but am not holding my breath.

Update: Microsoft's comment, delivered via a spokesperson: "We have no comment. Microsoft does not comment on rumors and speculation."

In the meantime, anyone else out there know more about Kojax?