Funambol Mobile Open Source Software Enables Mobile Data Access
Funambol release provides custom editions for carriers, enterprises and open source community
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., September 28, 2006 – Funambol, the mobile open source software company, today announced the general availability release of Funambol v3. The announcement extends the company’s reach to the mass market and puts open source on a collision course with proprietary mobile email vendors in what some consider the next technology battlefield.
Funambol v3 provides mobile carriers with an open, cost-effective solution that can provide address book and calendar synchronization, and push email, for hundreds of millions of consumers with commodity cell phones. For enterprises, the new version helps cut costs as more of their workforces go mobile. The software also opens push email – long the domain of RIM BlackBerry -- to a global community of open source developers, which the company expects will drive greater innovation and benefits for consumers.
“Mobile email for consumers hasn't taken off because most consumers cannot afford the large monthly fees offered by the current players" said Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol CEO. "We are combining open source and mobile email -- which have enjoyed wild success in the corporate world -- to help carriers eventually deliver low-cost push email on commodity handsets."
Since its preview release earlier this year, the number of Funambol software downloads has doubled to 600,000, reflecting pent-up demand for mass market mobile applications. The software is being downloaded by a burgeoning community of developers that are testing it on a wide range of mobile devices all over the world. Carriers are increasingly interested in Funambol for its expected ability to reach the largely untapped market for consumer push email.
"Over 500 million people have an email account and most of them have a cell phone, but only 1% are currently managing their contacts, calendars and email with their wireless handset," said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D, VP and Chief Analyst for Mobile and Wireless at Frost & Sullivan. "Funambol's open source solution provides a low cost offering for a large part of the underserved market."
Funambol v3 is available in Carrier, Community (open source) and Network (for enterprises) Editions. All editions provide over-the-air synchronization of contacts, calendars, to-do lists and other Personal Information Management (PIM) data. They also provide push email capabilities for sending, receiving and forwarding email, and allow users to open attachments, check email online and offline, and accept or decline meeting events. Each edition also delivers specific benefits for specific users.
· The Carrier Edition enables end users to manage device settings and preferences via a web portal that can be integrated into a carrier's website. The Edition is certified for deployment on high availability infrastructure, with fault tolerance, scalability features and support for commercial application servers (such as WebLogic and WebSphere) and RDBMSs (such as Oracle).
· The Community Edition is the open source project for the Funambol community. It has been enhanced with software that was previously closed source, such as connectors for the Exchange and Domino email servers.
· The Network Edition, for enterprises, is functionally similar to the Community Edition; however, it includes three technical support incidents as well as software update notices, a customer support portal and indemnification coverage.
Honest Public License
The Community Edition is the first software to include Funambol's Honest Public License (HPL). Funambol previewed the HPL last month to address an application service provider "loophole" in GPLv2. GPLv2 requires that people who distribute software to the public to publish their code. The HPL clarifies that software distributed as a service falls under the intent of GPLv2. HPL applies to Funambol server code while GPLv2 continues to apply to Funambol client code.
Funambol v3 is available today for Windows and Linux. The Carrier Edition can be purchased by contacting Funambol Sales or a Funambol reseller. The Community Edition can be downloaded from the Funambol website at www.funambol.com. The Network Edition is an annual subscription that can be purchased and downloaded from the Funambol website.
Funambol v3 will support an increasing number of mobile devices over the coming months. It supports Windows Mobile PocketPCs today and will support Windows Mobile Smartphones soon. The company is working with major device manufacturers to include SyncML 1.2 for push email on their new devices. Funambol will release a J2ME client for Java phones, initially for the Motorola RAZR, early next year. Funambol provides open source plug-ins that sync PIM data on BlackBerries and Palms and is working with the community and third parties to add support for push email.
Funambol is also working with the community on connectors and plug-ins that access email and PIM data from leading consumer services such as Yahoo! mail, gmail, MySpace and Skype. These supplement existing Funambol open source connectors for Exchange, Domino and POP/IMAP.
Funambol is the mobile open source company. Funambol's Mobile Application Server offers "push" email, multimaster PIM synchronization, and management facilities for mobile devices. Funambol (formerly known as Sync4j) is an open source development platform for mobile applications that has been downloaded more than any other wireless middleware product – 600,000+ times. The commercial version has been deployed at wireless carriers, Fortune 100 enterprises, hardware OEMs/ODMs and ISVs including customers such as Computer Associates. Funambol is headquartered in Redwood City, California with a development center in Italy. See www.funambol.com.