Alacatel-Lucent Buys ProgrammableWeb : Why?

ProgrammableWeb, a popular repository of APIs (Application Programming Interface), has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Alcatel Lucent, a global telecommunications firm that provides the backbone to the mobile phone operators, service providers and others.

The terms of the acquisition have yet to be disclosed and the telecommunications giant's VP of Global developer strategy, Laura Merling, said that the company's ultimate goal is to "protect the uniqueness and independence of ProgrammableWeb as an API repository and developer resource, while adding beneficial technologies and service provider relationships to the mix for everyone’s benefit."

Programmableweb will operate independently from Alcatel Lucent and will continue to manage more than 2000 Web APIs and more than 5000 mashups. As for Alcatel Lucent, they have acquired a suite of services for developer and an Apps toolset, testing sandbox and distribution system a few months ago.

What would that mean in the long term? Well, we've seen a growing number of network devices, primarily consumer ones, integrate more and more widgets and apps.

The Belkin Play Max series comes with a series of applications that allows users to download content, identify and label music or automatically backup content.

The plan for Alcatel Lucent could be to bring such capabilities to a more corporate audience and kickstart something akin of an App store but for a completely enterprise-oriented userbase.