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RealTime IT News

Good Technology Deals with Handspring, Cingular

In its ongoing war for the market share and mindshare of the enterprise wireless messaging market, Good Technology on Monday announced that Handspring and Cingular will support its newly released GoodLink 2.0 real-time synchronized system designed to work with enterprise platforms like Microsoft Exchange.

The announcements come at a critical time for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which is battling market leader Research in Motion (RIM) of Canada, the manufacturer of the popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail hardware and software product. RIM continues to be the leader in the wireless messaging market with a total of 615,000 subscribers to its service as of April.

However, amid the competition, the overall market is shrinking. The handheld device market is having a difficult time in 2003, according to IDC, which said 2.45 million handheld units were shipped during the first quarter -- a slide of more than 21 percent over last year.

Still, Yankee Group acknowledges the enterprise e-mail market specifically could still grow. "The U.S. market for corporate wireless e-mail solutions will grow from slightly more than 1 million users currently to more than 9 million users in 2007. This represents a 26 percent penetration of wireless e-mail among total mobile workers in the final forecast year. Associated revenues will grow more than 300 percent from $837 million in 2002 to almost $3.5 billion in 2007," the Yankee Group study said.

With this backdrop, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Good Technology said Handspring (soon to be part of Palm ) will use GoodLink 2.0 will work on Handspring Treo 600 expected to hit the market later this year for cradle-free wireless messaging and data access.

Handspring's Treo 600 is a combined phone and PDA, which is based on the PalmOS and offers a variety of wireless applications, including messaging, e-mail and wireless Web browsing. The company said, in a statement, the new phone-organizer device "is expected to be available this fall on major carriers worldwide including the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network."

"GoodLink enables users to view e-mail attachments in Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, HTML, PDF and RTF file formats. The GoodLink system includes synchronizing server software, nationwide wireless service on a variety of networks, and applications software for a variety of devices and operating systems, including the Good G100, RIM 950 and RIM 957 wireless handhelds, and industry-standard devices based on PalmOS, and soon PocketPC," the companies said in a statement.

Good Technology also said Cingular will run GoodLink 2.0 software solution with Cingular XpressMail over the Mobitex network. Questions have been raised about the long-term viability of the Mobitex network, as carriers move to 2.5G and other next-generation networks. But for now, Good's software will run over the Mobitex network and will allow for Cingular to offer data capability with Cingular's Interactive Messaging Plus, two-way paging system.

Cingular announced its support of XpressMail with BlackBerry service for GSM/GPRS back in February. Meanwhile, RIM's move to next-generation cellular networks became clear with its recent deal to distribute its BlackBerry 6210 through T-Mobile USA's GSM/GPRS network.

Good Technology said, with the release of GoodLink 2.0, the company "is now ready for converged voice/data devices on 2.5G network, providing maximum network, device and handheld OS flexibility."

Good said the new version of its software will support a variety of voice and data devices and will run on both 1xRTT and GPRS next-generation wireless networks. Good expects that devices running Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC operating system will be available by the end of 2003. Good also has a deal with PalmSource to run its software, as part of its strategy of being handheld operating system agnostic.