RealTime IT News

Good Puts the Squeeze on Blackberry

Hoping to grab market share from its rivals, mobile platform maker Good Technology Tuesday aligned itself closer to Microsoft , while updating its GoodLink platform.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup said it is again working with the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant to let customers get access to their Windows applications using a Good G100, the Treo 600 or a Pocket PC device. The two companies have worked together before on a backend solution: GoodLink and GoodInfo support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and its ActiveSync environment.

Microsoft said the enhanced relationship gives Good/Windows users an e-mail experience similar to that of accessing Microsoft Exchange on the desktop, as well as the ability to view native, rich attachments on Pocket PCs, including Pocket Word and Excel files.

"A lot of business takes place in short bursts between phone calls and meetings," Sue Forbes, Good's vice president of marketing and product management, said in a statement. "By leveraging GoodLink's integration with the broad range of devices and applications available for Windows Mobile, users can access the information they need to respond to a request, schedule a meeting, check a price, view a fax or give a presentation."

In concert with the Windows alliance, Good updated its GoodLink platform to version 3.0. Analysts say the improvements bring Good up to speed in security, user interface, attachment handling and management areas. The upgrade also is designed to address the growing number of smartphones on 2.5G networks. But more than an upgrade and a partnership, Good's progress is taking the wind out of the sails of chief rival Research In Motion (RIM) .

IDC senior analyst Alex Slawsby said more and more enterprises are picking up the Good solution. This trend has been helped by the company's strong relationships with the likes of palmOne, PalmSource, Microsoft and Dell.

"Those relationships are particularly important as Good strives to build momentum opposite RIM," Slawsby told internetnews.com. "RIM continues to dominate in terms of brandshare and mindshare worldwide and is seeking its own relationships on a licensing side. Those same relationships exist with platform and device vendors, but have received less press attention recently from RIM. So, Good is making progress and continues to target RIM as its main competitor in specific and in its announcements, while RIM continues to take the high road, as it remains significantly ahead in terms of deployments and implementations."

Adding to its momentum, Good also launched its Good Alliance Partner Program, which will serve as an on-line resource where mobile users can find applications. Charter members include Macromedia, DataViz, Mobility Electronics, PrinterOn, RedMercury and Timetag.

"We believe that 2004 is the year of the mobile enterprise. The standards are in place, the networks are ready, and a variety of compelling devices based on standard operating systems are shipping," Good Technology CEO Danny Shader said in a statement. "What's been missing is the software and services required to glue these components together. GoodLink 3.0 fills this gap."