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Extended Systems: Extending Its Lead in Bluetooth

With the proliferation of technology devices, it often becomes a hassle to connect everything. Look at the back of your computer and you will notice a tangle of many cables. With Bluetooth technology, this will become a problem of the past. The technology allows for wireless synchronization of devices, which is done by using omni-directional radio signals that make connections up to 10 meters apart. For example, when you walk into your office, your PC will automatically synchronize your address list and calendar from your Palm VII.

Even though Bluetooth is a recent phenomenon, it has become very popular. A big part of the success is the fact that Bluetooth is royalty-free and open specification.

A company that should benefit from Bluetooth is Extended Systems . The company is not a start-up; rather, it was founded in 1984, creating software and hardware technologies for the mobile world.

Revenues have been stagnant though. They were $14.9 million last quarter, compared to $13.4 million in the same period a year ago. However, Extended Systems is a company in transition and has moderate losses ($324,000 in the past quarter).

Extended has been spreading its technology. The company has signed three licensing deals with Motorola. There was also a licensing deal with 3Com (in February 22, 2000) for the Palm product line. Extended Systems also has a sales agreement with Agilent Technologies, which is the worlds largest manufacturer of infrared transceivers for mobile applications.

Yesterday, Extended Systems struck a key deal with Intel. Intel will license file transfer and synchronization applications from Extended Systems. These technologies provide links with Microsoft Outlook and Palm or Windows CE devices and will be bundled with Intel Bluetooth products.

Expect many more of these deals in the future. Bluetooth has tremendous support from such companies as Ericsson, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Motorola and Nokia. According to the market research firm of Cahners In-Stat Group, there are expected to be over 670 million Bluetooth devices globally by 2005. It looks like companies are adopting Extended Systems' technologies as a way to serve the marketplace.



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