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Good, Microsoft form handheld alliance

Start-up Good Technology is working with the software behemoth to make Good's e-mail software for handhelds compatible with Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system.

Handheld-software maker Good Technology is forming an alliance with Microsoft as it tries to increase the number of devices on which its applications can run.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based start-up will work with Microsoft to make Good's software compatible with Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system, sources say. Good's GoodLink software lets customers wirelessly access e-mail and corporate data from a handheld device.

The Microsoft partnership is similar to an arrangement Good made with PalmSource last week. PalmSource controls the other major operating system for handhelds, the Palm OS.

"It looks like Good's goal is to blanket the entire mobile platform market to be in as many devices as possible," said Alex Slawsby, an analyst with research firm IDC.

Microsoft has 29 hardware partners building Pocket PC 2002-based devices. Good has been testing, and recently began shipping, its own device, the G100, but has yet to formally announce it.

"The key to success for this market isn't to be another platform," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research. "Good is focusing on wireless data synchronization and communications, working with the platforms in the market without forcing companies to adopt a new platform to use Good's applications."

Representatives from Good and Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

Good will demonstrate the new version of GoodLink, 1.5, at the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Conference in Anaheim, Calif., starting Oct. 7. The software will bolster security and management features.

Good Technology is challenging Research In Motion for corporate customers who want always-on wireless access to e-mail and company information. Good's software can run on RIM's popular BlackBerry devices. The two companies are locked in a legal battle over patent infringement.

Good Technology has received funding from first-tier venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well as Benchmark Capital. John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins and Bruce Dunlevie from Benchmark are on Good Technology's board of directors.