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AvantGo pushes upgraded software

The company is releasing upgrades to its business and consumer software, allowing customers to access content such as stock prices that are "pushed" to their devices.

AvantGo will release upgrades Monday to its business and consumer software, allowing customers to access content such as stock prices "pushed" to their devices.

AvantGo 4.0 includes a new version of the company's M-Business Server, which sits between a company's network and handheld devices, as well as new versions of its Mobile Engine software for the Web, Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange. This software provides back-end integration and coordination with various applications and handheld devices.

The company also will release an upgrade of its popular consumer software, AvantGo Mobile Internet.

The enterprise software upgrade includes several new features such as a mechanism that automatically "pushes" Web pages, stock quotes, and e-mail to handheld devices. The feature is intended to keep customers productive even when they lose their wireless connections.

"You might get an e-mail message that says a stock is up 20 percent, and when you click on the link, we've already pushed out that Web page," said AvantGo Vice Chairman Felix Lin. "Even though you're now out of the coverage area--you're in an elevator shaft--you can work offline seamlessly."

The upgraded Mobile Engine software also allows Microsoft Word attachments to be viewed with Lotus Notes and can adjust time zones within calendar entries.

AvantGo competes in the business market against IBM, Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft. While the company is clearly smaller in comparison, it gained an early lead in the wireless software market through its free consumer software dubbed AvantGo Mobile Internet Service. Analysts believe the company is well-positioned, even in today's economic downturn.

"AvantGo definitely has an advantage from a technology standpoint. And from a financial viability standpoint, they have shown that they will survive," said Merrill Lynch analyst Mark Fernandes.