Motorola unit upgrades mobile messaging software

Motorola on Monday announced a new version of the wireless messaging product it obtained in its recent acquisition of Good Technology.

Good Mobile Messaging 5 is the latest major update of the technology since the 4.0 version in March 2005, said Rick Osterloh, senior director of product management for the Good Technology group inside Motorola. Motorola announced the acquisition of Good Technology in November and the deal closed in February.

The new version, shipping in September, will make it easier to use, cutting out steps for everyday tasks, and will personalize use of a wireless smart phones, Osterloh said. It also includes features for greater IT control of devices, including the ability to lock down certain features or applications not permitted by an organization, if needed, such as a camera or Wi-Fi.

Alan VandeWeert, technical architect for Liz Claiborne in New York, said a "huge benefit" of the new release is its simplified load balancing, providing IT staff with the ability to move users across servers without reprovisioning each user.

Liz Claiborne has been using a beta version of Good 5 since the start of June, VandeWeert said. "We are definitely upgrading to the newest version," he said.

For users, VandeWeert identified several improvements over previous versions. For one, they will be able to send attachments more easily and securely, and have currently been sending pictures of designs with SMS, which he said is "not secure and cumbersome." Also, the new version offers different e-mail views, allowing users to set priorities, and a better ability to use a company calendar for setting appointments and booking rooms.

Also, because Liz Claiborne has a user base in Hong Kong, it helps that Good 5 is built on Unicode, which assigns a specific number to every character in every language, VandeWeert said.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates LLC in Northboro, Massachusetts, said the user customization and IT management functions are improved in Good 5. Good has joined competitors Palm and Research in Motion with its BlackBerry in stretching the limits of what can be included on the mobile form factor. Users want the same experience on a mobile device as they get on a desktop, "which isn't completely possible, at least not yet," Gold added.

Good has about 25 million wireless e-mail subscribers, Osterloh said.

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