Motorola Buys Wireless Firm Good

Motorola on Friday ramped up its efforts to compete against Research In Motion with the acquisition of Good Technology, a provider of wireless e-mail services that work on existing handsets, including Motorola's popular Q.

While Motorola has been working hard to break into the enterprise market, the manufacturer has barely made a dent into the dominance of RIM's ubiquitous BlackBerry. Good, which is already used by 12,000 companies, could help change that.

Unlike the BlackBerry service, which is tied to specific devices, Good has taken a software-based approach. Its corporate e-mail and security services run on a variety of handsets from numerous manufacturers, such as Nokia, Samsung, Palm, HP and HTC's Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.

Motorola did not say how it planned to further integrate Good's offerings into its own product lines, or what this means for Motorola's rivals. The company will be put in the awkward position of supplying software for Nokia, with which it is fiercely battling for market share.

"Good Technology's software and managed service deliver a rich user experience, low cost of ownership, industry- leading security and enterprise-class support," said Motorola Mobile Devices division president Ron Garriques. "This acquisition will continue to strengthen Motorola as a leading provider of mobility devices and solutions both for enterprise customers and consumers."

Good also gets a great deal out of the acquisition as well: Motorola's massive marketing capabilities. With limited resources, the company has always had trouble actively selling itself to businesses, while Microsoft and RIM face no such constraints. But with Motorola behind it, that will surely change next year.

The biggest effect of the deal could be on Palm, which has recently begun leaning towards Microsoft in its products aimed at businesses. Although the company continues to make Palm OS based devices, enterprise software is lacking for the platform, while Microsoft recently deployed a push e-mail update to Windows Mobile 5.0 that offers enterprises a solution that integrates with their Exchange servers.

In turn, Palm may be pushed further into Microsoft territory, as Good was a primary provider of business software for Palm OS on the Treo 650 and Treo 700p.

Motorola did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said the transaction was expected to close in early 2007.

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