January 24, 2004

Pretty Good E-Mail Device

Reading this post at Ernie's blog reminded me that I've been meaning to post some information about Good Technology's offerings. Good has been around for a few years, and has consistently upstaged RIM's offerings so much that RIM decided to sue them over it. Unfortunately, this has prompted some understandable hesitation for firms to jump aboard with Good for their wireless e-mail needs. However, on a number of fronts, it certainly appears that Good has built the better wireless mousetrap.

Two-way wireless (i.e., cradle-less) syncing utilizing Triple DES encryption, without reliance upon a desktop PC, is compelling enough. Couple that with a slicker, ambidextrous, and more compact PDA (the G100) than the BlackBerry 957, and one can see its broad appeal. Add to that its feature to remotely erase the device upon loss or theft to prevent embarrassing incidents, and support for viewing the text in Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Indeed, the Good system has a compelling set of features.

Several photos of the G100 device are available here and at Good's G100 web page.

Of course, it has some restrictions as well. Although Good is looking to expand its network support, it only runs on the Cingular Mobitex network (but at ~$35/month it's reasonable), and only supports Microsoft Exchange for messaging servers. Goodlink also does not support the full range of BlackBerry devices, only the newer Good G100 and the older RIM 950 and 957 models. So that leaves out the newer BlackBerries with color displays, Java support, and cell phone capabilities. Apparently Goodlink 2.0 does not offer web capabilities either.

However, from a number of online reviews and feedback from several law firms, Good supplies the most-wanted features that wireless e-mail users have been asking for. As a firm believer that competition generates innovation, I'd like to see Good and RIM resolve their differences in a way that allows them both to compete.

If you're looking for more information about Good Technology's server and PDA offerings, try these links:

"GoodLink Offers Better Link", eWeek, July 28th, 2003
"GoodLink Challenges the RIM BlackBerry", PC Magazine, March 11, 2003
"Good's G100 Challenges BlackBerry for Data-Only Dominance", WirelessNewsFactor.com, January 30, 2003
"E-Mail Without Wires", Network Computing, May 29, 2003
"Law Firm Dumps BlackBerry for Good", Network World, June 23, 2003 (PDF format)
"This Smart Phone is Actually Easy to Use", (re: Treo 600 running on GoodLink) BusinessWeek Online, September 29, 2003 (PDF Format)

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard