Fighting The Good Fight
By Carlo Longino, Mon May 03 15:15:00 GMT 2004

RIM gets all the press, but Good Technology is offering some serious competition.

Fast Company gives some details on the Good-BlackBerry battle in the mobile e-mail market -- while BlackBerry gets all the pub, Good's been quietly forging ahead by offering some features RIM doesn't, and by largely staying out of the device business.

The GoodLink software has always allowed OTA synchronization and the ability to open e-mail attachments, two features BlackBerry only recently added, its user interface bears a strong resemblance to Outlook, making it easy for business-types to pick up, but more importantly, GoodLink can also access corporate database systems like SAP, ERP and Oracle. RIM has said the next release of BlackBerry will do the same, and the company's also pumping up its next generation of devices.

It's hard to believe that RIM's devices are ever going to gain mass-market appeal, regardless how good their software is. They're e-mail devices first, and PDAs and phones second. But Good's software, with similar if not better functionality, is already available for Palm and Pocket PC, with MS Smartphone support on the way as well, and it would be hard to believe they don't have a Symbian version brewing too.

Good and RIM are software companies, and they're never going to make better devices than handset vendors. While Good (even though it does have a branded device) has been more agressive with their software strategy, RIM has licensed their software to most of the top device manufacturers, and it wouldn't be surprising if they soon got out of the device business all together.