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Software.com boosts Web messaging

Software.com says it will acquire a California-based company that develops Web-based scheduling, address book, and task management applications.

Furthering its efforts to maintain its position in the Internet service provider Web messaging market, Software.com today said it will acquire a California-based company that develops Web-based scheduling, address book, and task management applications.

Software.com said it is purchasing Mobility.Net in order to offer ISPs a broader range of messaging products that give users easier access to information "anytime and anywhere."

No financial details were disclosed. Software.com has opened an office in Silicon Valley, where the Mobility.Net team will be based. The Mobility.Net team will be responsible for the development and management of Software.com's Web applications.

The acqusition comes one week after Hewlett-Packard purchased an equity stake in privately held Software.com. HP also announced a partnership with the messaging company to offer carrier-scale messaging technology and services to large Internet service providers.

Software.com will integrate Mobility.Net's Web application server technology with its InterMail server family, said Andrew MacFarland, a product manager for Software.com, who managed the acquisition.

Mobility.Net's offerings are also highly customizable, meaning ISPs can fit the features to their individual needs, MacFarland said. "In our view they deliver a strong product for service providers."

With the onslaught and popularity of Web portals, the Internet has transformed into a central location for people to access aggregate and personal information. Companies like Netscape, Sun Microsystems, and Lotus offer Web-based applications that organize task management, Webmail, address book, and calendar information in their enterprise products. Sun, and Netscape have made some efforts to sell their products to ISPs as well.

Just yesterday, Microsoft jumped into the growing online scheduling market with the purchase of Jump Networks, maker of a technology that lets users access their email, address books, and calendars from any Internet-connected computer. The software giant plans to include the new technology in its MSN service.

Although Software.com provides Web messaging features with its InterMail server, the company said it will integrate the total Webmail package from Mobility.Net, which includes multilingual spell checking, message searching, in-line attachments, global directory searching, and online security technology.

Decisions on pricing and any new name brands will be available over the next couple of weeks, MacFarland said.

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