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Push email gains ad-friendly Web 2.0 app integration

May 13, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

A vendor of push email software and a vendor of web-based applications for mobile devices have released a jointly produced mobile communications suite. Funambol and Lazlo say their joint offering provides mobile users with push email and web-based email, contacts, and scheduling applications, while offering service providers easy advertising integration.

The Motorola Razr V8
comes with Funambol

The new product combines Laszlo Webtop, a unified web-based communication suite that includes email, contacts, and calendar management, with Funambol's push email and PIM sync software, a Java push email client claimed to support 1.5 billion handsets. According to the partners, the new software should enable service providers to offer a more compelling ad-based model for information delivery.

Funambol's software is available in some 1.5 billion mobile devices, says the company, including a number of Linux-based Motorola phones, such as the Razr V8 (pictured at right) and Rokr E6. Lazlo Systems, meanwhile, offers its OpenLaszlo open source RIA development platform, which comes with a UNIX/Linux development kit.

Funambol architecture
(Click to enlarge)

The Funambol software suite aims to provide remote data management and user preference management via browser forms that can be integrated into a wireless carrier's website. The dual-licensed client-server suite is said to provide push email, and over-the-air (OTA) address book/calendar synchronization on commodity Java-capable phones. The software is touted as offering push email features that rival proprietary mobile email vendors such as Blackberry-maker RIM. With push email, messages are pushed all the way to the client device, rather than being cached on a POP or IMAP server for on-demand download. The Funambol suite includes a server component that provides connectors to both Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino email servers.

Lazlo Webtop screen

Lazlo Webtop (pictured at right) is a commercial, Linux-compatible desktop application based on OpenLazlo that includes email, contact, and calendar management. The email function offers features including message preview, click-and-drag message resizing, simultaneous message drafting in multiple windows, and extensive search and sort filters, says Lazlo. The calendar function is said to offer Web 2.0-enabled features, including collaboration tools such as publishing and subscribing to live calendar feeds over the web. The company is currently integrating a videoconferencing feature.

Lazlo Webtop architecture

Stated Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of Funambol, “Service providers are facing a build vs. buy vs. outsource email decision. Many are competing, directly or indirectly, with Web 2.0 email and mobile offerings, from Google, Yahoo!, AOL and Hotmail (LiveMail). The Funambol-Laszlo solution enables service providers to upgrade their email systems to be state-of-the-art and to compete on a level playing field with Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0 offerings.”

Stated Antony Campitelli, VP of Marketing at Laszlo, “As users move from desktop to mobile devices, they will expect a richer Web 2.0-like experience on cell phones.”

The market for mobile RIAs appears to be heating up. Last week, Sun announced its own JavaFX RIA software environment, although the mobile version won't arrive until a year from now, says the company.


The Funambol-Laszlo solution is available immediately, says Funambol.

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