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October 24, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Mobile Automation's SMS Alternative

2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS

  • RIM News
  • A Pocket PC for the Blind

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Subscribe to Windows & .NET Magazine and Receive an eBook Gift!
  • Get Connected with Connected Hom

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Games on Your PDA
  • New Instant Poll: Finding SMS Functionality Elsewhere

5. RESOURCE

  • Event Highlight: Enterprise Wireless Forum Conference & Expo Fall 2002

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Send Handwritten Email Messages
  • Use Your PDA to Track Service Requests

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by John D. Ruley, jruley@winnetmag.com)

  • MOBILE AUTOMATION'S SMS ALTERNATIVE

  • In the October 10 edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I wrote about Microsoft's plans for mobile device support in Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, as well as the company's lack of planned support for older devices. Today, I'm happy to provide an alternative to SMS: Mobile Automation's just-announced Mobile Lifecycle Management Suite.

    In 1997, former Symantec/Norton executive Doug Neal identified the need for managed mobility and founded Mobile Automation. In May 2002, the company announced its first Pocket PC enterprise support tool—Mobile Support Manager—which provides full-function remote control and online-chat capabilities that simplify Help desk support for Pocket PCs and other Windows CE-based devices. Mobile Automation has now announced a full suite of products. The Mobile Lifecycle Management Suite includes not only Help desk support but also asset discovery, security management (built around content that the Center for Internet Security provides), application deployment, self-healing configuration management, and (for laptops and notebooks) automated migration from Windows 2000 and Windows NT to Windows XP.

    Mobile Automation's distinguishing feature is its wide range of client support. The suite supports notebook and laptop PCs running XP, Windows Me, and Windows 9x; Windows CE 2.x and 3.x devices (including Pocket PCs and Handheld PCs—H/PCs); Palm OS 2.x, 3.x, and 4.x devices (the company is testing support for Palm OS 5.0); and Research in Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry. Not all functions are available on all devices. The security and migration features work only on notebook PCs. Palm OS devices don't support remote control, although they do support automatic application deployment, including deployment over Palm.NET for i705 and Palm VII-series devices. And BlackBerry devices support only wired asset discovery and software deployment.

    The Mobile Lifecycle Management Suite isn't cheap: A server costs $9000, plus $75 per seat for handheld devices or $120 per seat for notebook PCs. However, the suite is comprehensive, cross-platform, and available today. And the company has a remarkably broad range of deployments, ranging from small companies with a few hundred seats to a recent Federal Express deal that's expected to cover 40,000 seats. Other customers include Alcatel, Bombardier, Ford Motor Company, the Seattle Police Department, and the US Patent and Trademark Office. For more information about Mobile Automation and its products, go to the following URL.
    http://www.mobileautomation.com

    2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS
    (contributed by John D. Ruley, jruley@winnetmag.com)

  • RIM NEWS

  • Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry wireless email device, has recently released several announcements. The announcements involve new devices, wireless access to multiple email accounts, and—perhaps most significantly—a strategic relationship with Science Applications International (SAIC) aimed at providing wireless access to enterprise applications.

    That last announcement got my attention because SAIC is a company I know by reputation. SAIC was founded in 1969 as a spin-off from General Atomic, a Southern California defense contractor. SAIC is a private research corporation that focuses on radiation measurement, unmanned aerial vehicles, logistics, and so on. It's not a typical software company. According to a RIM press release, SAIC "has broadly deployed the BlackBerry wireless solution and has been pleased with the results." I'm extremely interested to see what develops from this partnership.

    In the meantime, RIM is offering two new models, both with integrated speakers and microphones so that they can offer voice telephone functionality along with RIM's signature wireless email. The BlackBerry 6710 is a "world-band" device that operates on the 900/1900MHz Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM)/General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) frequencies used in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions. The BlackBerry 6720 is similar but operates on the 900/1800MHz bands. RIM demonstrated both devices at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Internet show in Las Vegas last week. According to a RIM press release, availability and pricing will vary from country to country and carrier to carrier. For more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.rim.com

  • A POCKET PC FOR THE BLIND

  • In what ranks as one of the most fascinating applications of PDA technology I've encountered, Freedom Scientific and Microsoft announced the PAC Mate, a PDA built for blind users. The PAC Mate is based on Windows CE for Pocket PC but also incorporates Freedom Scientific's proprietary technology to support blind users. Features include speech synthesis and Braille input. Several models will be available, and some will offer a full-sized keyboard. Freedom Scientific expects the first devices, priced at $2595, to ship by the end of 2002. For more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/pacmate.asp

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • SUBSCRIBE TO WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE AND RECEIVE AN EBOOK GIFT!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine is a problem-solving manual designed to help systems administrators better manage their Windows 2000 and Windows NT enterprise. Subscribe today and, with your paid subscription, you can choose from one of three eBooks about Active Directory, public key infrastructure, or automating tasks with VBScript. Subscribe now!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/rd.cfm?code=ebei202jup

  • GET CONNECTED WITH CONNECTED HOME

  • If you haven't seen Connected Home Online lately, you're missing the definitive resource to help you tackle home automation, install a home network, set up a home theater, and much more. Visit today, and while you're there, check out this article about installing a 100Mbps home network at http://www.connectedhomemag.com/networking/articles/index.cfm?articleid=24765 .

    Check it out!
    http://www.connectedhomemag.com

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: GAMES ON YOUR PDA

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you play games on your PDA?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 62 votes:
    • 2% Almost constantly
    • 19% Often
    • 26% Sometimes
    • 53% Never

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: FINDING SMS FUNCTIONALITY ELSEWHERE

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "If Microsoft neglects to support older devices in Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, how likely are you to look elsewhere (e.g., third-party utilities) for SMS-like functionality?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) Very likely, b), Maybe c) Probably not, or d) No chance.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    5. RESOURCE

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: ENTERPRISE WIRELESS FORUM CONFERENCE & EXPO FALL 2002

  • October 28 through 30, 2002

    Boston, Massachusetts

    The Enterprise Wireless Forum focuses on the application of wireless and mobile technologies and techniques in mainstream corporate and commercial businesses. The Forum addresses the entire spectrum of wireless and mobile business, technology, workforce, and customer-centric initiatives specific to extending the corporate enterprise, empowering mobile workers, and creating real business advantages. For more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.jupiterevents.com/ewf/fall02/index.html

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/events

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

  • SEND HANDWRITTEN EMAIL MESSAGES

  • Pen&Internet announced riteMail, an electronic ink application that lets you send handwritten email messages wirelessly from Windows, Palm, Pocket PC, and Tablet PC devices. You can create and send handwritten notes and drawings to any email address in any language. Pricing is $29.95. The application integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. Contact Pen&Internet at 408-746-9900 extension 20 or info@penandinternet.com.
    http://www.ritemail.net

  • USE YOUR PDA TO TRACK SERVICE REQUESTS

  • Kemma Software released BridgeWireless, a Help desk solution for the Palm device that lets mobile support providers download data from a central database to ensure that they have current information when they respond to service requests. Tracking fields for service requests include Customer, Date Received, Priority, Status, Category, Description, Summary, and Actions. Pricing starts at $995 for the base unit and support for three users. Contact Kemma Software at 724-933-8810.
    http://www.kemma.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES — jruley@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — jbovberg@winnetmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
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    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
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