• United States

GoodLink 2.0 coming to the Treo 600

Jul 14, 20035 mins
Computers and PeripheralsMobileSmall and Medium Business

BOSTON (07/11/2003) – Good Technology Inc. launched the newest version of its GoodLink wireless e-mail software Monday, and announced a partnership with Handspring Inc. to bring the GoodLink software to the Treo 600 when that device is released later this year. [Note to editors: This story was previously posted under embargo. It is now being reposted as it is available for immediate use online.]

Good Technology Monday launched the newest version of its GoodLink wireless e-mail software, and announced a partnership with Handspring to bring the GoodLink software to the Treo 600 when that device is released later this year.

GoodLink 2.0 is an improved version of the software that allows handheld users to wirelessly access corporate e-mail and data through their PDAs or smart phones. The software now supports the Palm OS, and works on cellular networks such as GSM/GPRS and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks, Good CEO Danny Shader said.

The new software will incorporate a number of features specific to voice technology. For example, users will be able to receive an e-mail on their devices with a phone number in the body of the message that will be transformed into a hotlink, Shader said. That hotlink will automatically dial the number when the user clicks on the link, he said.

GoodLink 2.0’s ability to do real-time synchronization of contacts and calendars, and its cradle-free installation, set it apart from market leader Research in Motion’s (RIM) products, Shader said. RIM’s BlackBerry has become very popular among corporate executives and salespeople over the last few years, but Good is looking to steal some of those customers with its updated software, and new hardware partners.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, Good’s wireless e-mail technology ran on the Mobitex network operated by Cingular Wireless LLC in the U.S. In order to move away from the high cost of making devices for the Mobitex network, Good needed to develop software for hardware that can be produced in high volumes at lower overall costs, Shader said.

Corporate customers make buying decisions based on how many software applications are available for a particular device, so Good Technology has to make sure GoodLink can work with a variety of devices for adoption of the software to grow, Shader said. “[Independent software vendors] go where the install base is, and more applications will be written for PalmOS and Pocket PC (than the Mobitex network),” he said.

Good Technology decided several months ago to lay off most of its hardware division and concentrate on developing the GoodLink software, Shader said. Unlike Good, RIM remains committed to its BlackBerry hardware division, but will probably have to separate the hardware and software portions of the company at some point, said Todd Kort, an analyst with Gartner.

Since Good no longer makes its own hardware, it has needed to find partners such as Handspring and Dell. Good agreed in April to collaborate with Dell to bring GoodLink to Dell customers.

Under that agreement, the previous version of GoodLink was made available on Dell’s PowerEdge servers, and the client version of the software will be available on future Dell handhelds. Dell’s Axim handhelds run on the Pocket PC operating system, now known as Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs.

The first Palm OS device to feature GoodLink 2.0 will be the Treo 600, which is scheduled for release by Handspring in the third quarter, Shader said. The Treo 600 will use Sprint’s CDMA network, and Sprint will be the first wireless voice carrier to support GoodLink when the Treo 600 is released, he said.

Most corporations aren’t adopting handhelds and smart phones such as the Treo for their users. Instead, users are bringing smart phones into their company, Kort said. IT managers will give the technology a second look for their users if they can have reliable and secure voice, data, and e-mail communications through one device, he said.

Some GoodLink customers won’t want to upgrade their hardware in a climate of tight IT budgets, and for those customers, GoodLink 2.0 will still work on the Mobitex network used by existing devices from Good Technology and RIM, Shader said. Those GoodLink users will also now have two-way pager communications in partnership with Cingular, he said.

The days of the Mobitex network are numbered and Good needs to embrace the 2.5G networks such as CDMA and GSM/GPRS because that is where future investments will be made, said Ken Dulaney, a Gartner analyst. RIM is also moving to these networks, as evidenced by a recent agreement to distribute the BlackBerry 6210 through T-Mobile USA Inc. and its GSM/GPRS network.

RIM still enjoys an advantage over Good in Europe and Asia, Dulaney said Good Technology does not have a network set up to deliver push e-mail in Europe and Asia, and must depend on workaround solutions such as GPRS session roaming in order for users to receive their e-mail, he said.