While Research in Motion has been landing some major licensing wins for its software, Good Technology pulled in Microsoft to boost its upgraded GoodLink 3.0 software yesterday.
To add to its Palm offering, GoodLink now supports Pocket PC platforms, and integrates tightly with the Today view. Version 3.0 also offers administrators profiles, or what it calls 'Role Based Deployment' for faster roll-outs.
You might suppose that this kind of enterprise wireless messaging software is a classic example of sedimentation technology, such as the "maths co-processor", or "RAM doubler": one that's eventually commoditized by being bundled into a broader product or overtaken by technological advance (especially since over-the-air synchronization with Exchange is something Microsoft itself should have licked a long time ago).
Maybe, in Good's case, that's true in the long run. But for now it's not hard to see why businesses pay $330 per year per seat for Good's software. It's fast, seamless and has great attention to the end user experience. A handheld without Good's speedy lookups does feel like it's wanting.
Palm founder Jeff Hawkins paid the company a very warm tribute yesterday. "RIM just focused on email and didn't see the wider vision," he said. "Good had the vision and it's shown it in spades, of enabling wirelessly everything we do in our work life."
Good Technology faces ongoing litigation from Research In Motion, which not only wants the company, but the horse it rode in. RIM itself is in the shadow of a legal injunction which would prevent it from selling client hardware (where it gets the bulk of its current revenue).
The major prize of signing up the major phone platforms (Nokia / Symbian / Sony Ericsson) remains to be won. But perhaps here, Good's lack of interest as a device manufacturer - it exited the business pretty early - is an advantage. It deserves to succeed on excellence. ®