All updates can be found at the new site.
All updates can be found at the new site.
There are a few technologies that form the base of a various "push email" solutions. Some are true push technologies while others are synchronization marketed as push. From a user's perspective, it may be difficult to discern which technology that is used, but the differences will impact your monthly cost/bill. Because SyncML and IMAP can require client polling, the bandwidth usage is higher than true push solutions.
This is an example of a SyncML solution for mobile email and the type of solution used by Intellisync.
IMAP solutions use WAP push to deliver notifications or can convert email messages and deliver them via SMS. These type of solutions have obvious shortcomings. When WAP push is used, a link is delivered to the WAP browser and the actual email message is only delivered when the link is selected. So, in the pure sense this type application is push-pull. As for email converted to SMS, only the text portions of the email are delivered, or as with WAP push only a link. These workarounds are needed because IMAP is designed for client pull rather than push.
Proprietary + RTP/RTSP is the best description of a solution such as Visto provides. Visto's calls it's ConstantSync product real-time and it turns out they use the real time streaming protocol to deliver email to over mobile networks. Apparently, operators are impressed with the solution as both Rogers (the first operator to deploy Blackberry) and Vodafone (the worlds largest mobile operator) have selected ConstantSync as their white-label email product. More about this solution as I plan to start testing it next week.
Many are suggesting that Microsoft's delayed Windows Mobile 2005 or code name Magneto will be a Blackberry killer.
Microsoft has been trying for years, since the late 90's, to break into the mobile enterprise leveraging their dominance with Outlook as their entry point.
Anyone recall the Stinger phone? It promise two way other the air (OTA) synchronization with email, and the Outlook address book. If you don't remember this phone, it's because the only place it anyone saw them publicly was at 3GSM World Congress 2001. Of course, it was a simulated demo, and we all know about MS demos, right?
Microsoft abandoned the phone form factor to focus on PDAs and getting MSN working on the Verizon Wireless network. Microsoft has maintained a strong working relationship with VZW ever since. When Verizon began testing it's high speed EvDO Microsoft participated. When VZW needed a technology for its new video service, VCAST, and end-to-end Windows Media solution was selected. Verizon is likely to be the one mobile operator to support a MS push email product.
Another larger operator has consistently not been MS friendly. Although the anti-MS sentiment among operator's is wide spread, it is rarely expressed publicly. Most large operators see MS's dominance of the PC platform and desire to dominate mobile as a threat. The telecom mindset is deep seeded in terms of maintaining ownership of the customer even to the point of their determent of the operator's business. Most operators have been insistant on customization of handsets and are becoming more so. Operator avoidance of MS can be seen in their selection of RealOne for streaming or Apple's open source version of QuickTime for their new for streaming video services. Again, VZW is the exception.
In the meantime, RIM has seen dramatic growth as they have more than doubled their user base in just the past 10 months. There are approximately 2.5 million users of the Blackberry service. Not that RIM doesn't have it's obstacles and challenges. Today 70% of their revenue comes from device sales. They'll need to make their solution compatible with more handsets to be attractive to operators and enterprises alike.
Magneto is very late to market. It was expected to be released in Feb. 05 at the 3GSM conference. With a number of operators announcing the push email solutions this year, MS may well have missed the window. Of course, the power base for MS isn't on the operator side it's with the enterprise itself. The no show of Magneto doesn't bode well for what MS might actually ship as Windows Mobile 2005. Why is MS delaying Magneto?
The most likely story behind the delay is a legal issue. Microsoft picked up engineers from the company that created the Smartner Duality product, and from Visto. Visto has filed suit against Seven and Smartner. MS had to go back into the product and access whether they would be open to the same patent infringement claims by Visto. The very real possibility is that MS makes adjustments to avoid litigation, and in the process releases a crippled solution that gets fixed at about version 3.1.
Is Magneto a Blackberry killer? No. Will MS kill Blackberry someday? Yes, if they stay in the push email business long enough. It took MS many years to over come Palm in the PDA form factor. But they did it. Too bad the PDA market is dying.
On the server side MS is more formidable which is dangerous for RIM over the long term. MS will release a new version of Exchange in Q3 2005 which includes push email. Further, push email will be free. Sound familiar?
Push Email Vendors: RIM, Visto, Good Technology, Seven/Smartner, Microsoft
Push email actually means more than just the delivery of email these days, and it's an important topic when you consider that email represents the entry point for mobility into the enterprise. The first step of this discussion will present the vendors. The two power players are RIM with a $14bn market cap and the upcoming Magneto release of Windows Mobile 2005 which will put Microsoft into the fray. All of the other companies are small by comparison.
There are multiple approaches taken by vendors to enter the market.
Some combination of the above options is typically used by vendors, and in additon, they have focused on different geo-markets in establishing their presence.
RIM the company that started it all with a service and device that was as addictive as video poker. Affectionately referred to as Crackberry by those who have fallen under the spell of the dings announcing arrivals of emails, the Blackberry peneftrated the enterprise like virus outbreak. In it's early years, meeting-plagued executives and technology workers installed the Blackberry Desktop Redirector Software on their individual work PCs. The magic of this solution was infiltrating the enterprise without gaining the favor, suffering the long sales cycles and answering concerns on security from the IT department's gate keepers. Workers became infacuated with the freedom of movement that the Blackberry allowed. They were able to respond to emails during meetings and without the necessity of returning to their tethered desktop for hours or even days. The Blackberry was/is empowering.
Microsoft and Good are the enterprise oriented players in the group. Good claims to have 5000 enterprise customers, and of course, Microsoft dominates enterprise email with it's Exchange Server. The spectre of Microsoft's entry into the push email space has generated much speculation of their impending dominance and potential as a Blackberry-killer. I'll explain later why this is a false preception and unlikely to occur in the short to mid term. Good has an excellent presence in US enterprises including 7 of the top 10 American firms. Are they vulnerable to MS? Absolutely. The main reason is the device support from Good is limited to Palm and MS smartphones.
Visto has a different strategy. They have signed 10 mobile operators and believe that RIM's soft spot is the desire of mobile operators to not share brand promotion/recognition with the Blackberry. Visto provides a white-label solution and has landed the holy grail of global mobile operator customers, Vodafone. Visto claims it's solution supports the largest number of devices of all other push email solutions including the Palm OS, Windows Mobile, J2ME, and SyncML. In addition, Visto has a thick patent portfolio having already filed suit against Seven for infringement is preparing to file against Smartner who recently merged with Seven.
The new company combining Seven and Smartner also employs a white-label solution to mobile operators, but the advantage for them is a strong penetration of European and Asian markets. The combined solutions support 100 devices. The questions hanging over the new Seven are Visto's patent claims and how smooth the merger is executed.
Intellisync consolidates the under a single brand the technologies and revenues of Pumatech, Synchrologic and Starfish. Based upon SyncML, Intellisync offers "push like" email as part of its enterprise mobile solution suite. IDC recently named Intellisync as 3rd in market share with 6.9% of the mobile middleware market. However, if you segement the market for push email only, Intellisync doesn't fare so well. Mobile middleware is a very broad and confusing label when you consider there are middleware providers who focus on transcoding, video, audio, and/or combined multimedia delivery for mobile networks.
This week I'm going to begin my experiment of multiday coverage on one topic. This week I'll start with push email. RIM's recent growth, the inclusion of push email on application of interest lists from mobile operators, Microsoft's intention to include the feature in their next Windows Mobile and Exchange Server release, the rise of MVNO's and the growth in smartphones are all factors which make for a market poised for expansion.
As reported by The Economist push email's time has come. We'll examine the technology, vendors, other influences, and threats surrounding push email as it moves from executive privilege to mainstream application.
The blogosphere has been buzzing over the topic of women bloggers and their unequal representation in the blogger A-list. The conversation has resulted in the announcement of a conference, and many posts. One such post appears on Jenny D.'s blog which stimulated over forty comments.
I tried to add this post to Jenny's comments but the software complained that I had included too many links, so my comment would not be posted. I couldn't decide which one to remove, so I'll reply/comment from here instead.
I like one other commentor on Jenny's post do love to look at data and prior art to form my thoughts, impressions and conclusions. Wish I had joined this discussion when it was occurring, but maybe the time shift won't matter.
First, my impression is that it's less important who is in the top 100, but how do those who wish to share in the conversation or have a turn at a top spot achieve that goal. Let's start with why the A-list exists. Rather than stating my opinion let me share with you a couple of links where this topic has been addressed.
While I don't think this is a discussion about intentional discrimination, the reality is that discrimination needn't be intentional to occur. The fish analogy is a good one, but I enjoyed reading about the difference between stumbling over or kicking a dog in It's not the thought that counts. Fascinating read...
The goal of the discussion on visibility for female and miniority bloggers has to consider the data on blog performance. How else does one reverse engineer what works. The oft referenced resource is the Technorati 100. I find the BlogPulse listing of the most cited blogs and blog posts more enlightening. Citations are an excellent measure of popularity and readership among other bloggers. What I found that was expected is that some of the same blogs were listed in both Technorati and BlogPulse. What I found that surprised me is the list of "Most cited posts" for 2004.
The first 3 in the list appear to be written by females, and they aren't journalistic style or news report writing. These are intense, personal, and individual experience all recorded in personal journals using the Live Journals blogging tool. These most cited posts are not from the elite, political pundit, technorati, uber-bloggers; these are the personal stories of indivduals that resonated with a large audience.
There's a pony in there somewhere. Also, I would agree with Shelly of Burningbird fame who suggested that some women and 500 of their friends should arrange to attend the Bloggercon conference. It's important that women declare their presence by showing up in the mainstream, and best to bring a few hundred women to punctuate the point.
I'd like to see Bloghercon focus on how to accomplish this goal, and other goals that ensure a seat at the table rather than building a separate and unequal table.
The good news is that MPEG-LA has released a response to the industry's push back on onerous licensing and royalty fees.
How anyone will monitor all the possible transactions that a user might make from various sources sounds all but impossible. How will a website vendor know if this user has purchased OMA DRM protected content? How will various mobile operators track the purchases of a user who travels internationally, changes phones and purchases content in Asia, Europe and the US?
While this scheme represents a huge reduction in fees from royalties, it requires a leap of faith by the industry as the royalties for version 2.0 remain unspecified.
I've been thinking about blogging, my blog and what to do with it. I've read quite a few blogs in the attempt to see what already exists. There are many blogs that replicate existing media models quite well. There are many instances of Headline News type blogs, TV News complete with advertising, AP type services, Magazines, Newspapers, etc. There are a growing number of instances of analysts, columnists and reporters who maintain their own blogs. Professionals and amatuers alike have the news side of the mobile industry covered. To replicate those existing blogs, doesn't add much to the conversation.
What I've discovered in blogging some of my observations and interests on the news, events and topics of the mobile data industry is that I'm producing little more than glancing blows or drive-by discussion of these topics. Superficial views of these topics probably wouldn't satisfy many readers and doesn't really deliver the reward for me that I expected from this activity.
So, for a minimum of the next month, I plan to cover one topic per week. Information chunking that allows me to provide a variety of perspectives on a given topic might provide a thorough consideration of the topic, idea or application without overwhelming the reader or me.
My one concern is that the discipline required for a week long focus on one topic area will be too difficult to maintain. Let's find out.
Question 1. Should there be a consistent set of catagories for the week and across topics? For example:
Day 1: Link Blog of posts on the subject
Day 2: Applications, tools or vendors available
Day 3: Current market view
Day 4: Analysts predictions
Day 5: Interview with someone involved (user, carrier, developer, or analyst)
Day 6: Direct experience or review of service, application, etc. Or thoughts, ideas, recommendations.
Question 2. What categories will deliver a compelling view of the subject? Likely to be learned while doing, but I'd love to hear from others what they would like to see here.
Question 3. What should be the driver for topics covered?
Question 4: Are there examples of other single author blogs already doing something similar, and if so, how are they doing it?
M:metrics the mobile research company has released some myth busting demographic data that deserves consideration by all of those responsible for evangelism or product development in the mobile content industry. These data represnt the US market which is always going to differ from other geo-markets in Asia or Europe. There are 2 important concepts which color the US mobile market as separate or different from the ROW.
M:metrics Busted Myth #1
There is no gender gap when it comes to mobile game play.
31 percent of female subscribers and 34 percent of male subscribers report having played a mobile game in the previous month. [...]
M:metrics Busted Myth #2
Ringtones aren't just for teens.
While the majority of ringtones were downloaded by subscribers age 13-24, those over 25 years old accounted for 45 percent of all subscribers who downloaded ringtones.
M:metrics Busted Myth #3
Text messaging has wide appeal.
Over half—52 percent—of subscribers age 25-34 sent or received text messages in the previous month, while 37 percent of those age 35-44 communicated via text. Among younger subscribers texting is ubiquitous with 68 percent of those age 18-24 sending and receiving text messages. "Even older folks are getting into the act," observed Donovan. "Fourteen percent of those over 65 use text messaging." Relative to its size, T-Mobile is the market leader in text messaging with more than half of its subscribers using the service.
M:metrics Busted Myth #4
When it comes to news and information on your mobile phone, subscriber propensity to consume has to do with who foots the bill.
Those with corporate accounts or accounts that are otherwise subsidized by their employer are significantly more likely to use the browser on their handset to access that kind of data compared with subscribers who are personally responsible for their bill.