Funambol: Open-source MobileMe that actually works, and on more than the iPhone

Funambol offers service providers a way to offer MobileMe service that actually works, without the compromises.

Apple's MobileMe problems are now well-documented, most recently by Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal . So much promise...so little delivery. A great idea that could be a great product, if it just worked. (I am a longtime Apple .Mac customer and am certainly not happy to see the service prove so incorrigible.)

So, what's the alternative? As you might imagine, open source provides a compelling answer.

Funambol has been offering its open-source "MobileMe" service for a wide variety of devices, not just the iPhone. In fact, Funambol now supports over 1.5 billion devices worldwide. It's called myFunambol and it's a great example of what open source can do. It's true push, works over-the-air (OTA), and doesn't require an "@me.com" email address.

In other words, Funambol brings MobileMe-esque sync that actually works, and works on a huge array of devices and services. It's a way for Yahoo! or any other service provider to create a valuable, connected experience with its customers.

Funambol is a also great way for service providers to build out their own MobileMe experience, without hitching a wagon to Apple. I love Apple, but I also love choice. You can get a glimpse of what Funambol is like by giving myFunambol a spin. If you're a service provider, download the source code and start building your own service.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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