In response to Michael's blog entry “Write once, pray, and debug everywhere?”, which in turn was in response to Russ' blog entry, I think that:
True WORA will never happen. Companies will continue to differentiate themselves. Things have gotten much better though, and will continue to get better. This is because companies continue their innovation efforts, and are understanding the benefits of standardizing what at one point were proprietary interfaces, etc. These interfaces (specs) are at first imperfect thus contributing to the whole WORA issue – but over time, things should get better (as people get involved, try the technology and find issues).
I disagree a bit with the comment that “true WORA can only be realized when device manufacturers lose the drive to innovate”. Innovation will continue, first as proprietary extensions.
From the business perspective, I have encoutered many times (for specialized apps such as workforce management) that WORA may not be an issue at all! In those cases, companies typically adopt a specific device family/vendor, either because of cost and/or (proprietary) features of interest.
For the cases where portability is very important -> you better be smart when designing and building/putting together your deployable piece – yes, I agree w/ Michael that thru good practices (design patterns and dev or build processes) you can MINIMIZE the pain of DEPLOYING applications across different devices – but unfortunately not completely remove it.