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1&1 and Funambol Collaborate on New Push Email and PIM Sync Solution for Mass Market

Funambol announced it is working with 1&1, the world's largest web hoster, on a new push email and PIM (personal information management, e.g., contacts and calendar) synchronization solution for the mass market.

The solution uses OpenXchange for collaboration capabilities, including contact and calendar management. 1&1 chose Funambol due to its mobile email & PIM feature set for the mass market, source code transparency and low cost that is enabled by open source. By using Funambol software, 1&1 expects to differentiate its offerings and mobilize its massive email user base as well as attract new customers for its affordable email services.

"1&1 is leading the way into a new mobile market in which many more people can receive compelling mobile services such as push email at a fraction of the cost of proprietary alternatives," said Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol CEO. "We are pleased to work with 1&1 as this will set a precedent for how service providers can utilize open source to address a major new portion of the market and provide profitable mobile services."

"After thoroughly researching the market for push email services, Funambol proved to offer the solution we were looking for. We believe in the success of Software as a Service and Funambol's open source-based solution delivers on both our business and customer needs," said Andreas Gauger, 1&1 chairman of the board. "We look forward to making this mobile service available to our customers soon."

"Business users and consumers want easy-to use mobile messaging and collaboration capabilities such as Personal Information Management services, on all the devices they use, anywhere, anytime at a reasonable cost," said Gerald Labie, CEO of Open-Xchange. The market potential for mobile SaaS solutions is tremendous. Our three way partnership is a major step forward in meeting this need."

The 1&1 and Funambol push email service points to a trend in the industry - service providers such as 1&1 are choosing open source-based software to provide mobile services. Earlier this year, Funambol announced an agreement with EarthLink and anticipates more will follow. These moves are expected to generate a wide range of new low-cost mobile email and related services for the mass market. Funambol has been leading the evolution of this market with its mobile open source software since 2001. The new 1&1 mobility service is expected to launch within a few months.

"We project mobile email adoption by consumers to rapidly accelerate over the next few years. This service by 1&1 and Funambol is just the first of many similar offerings to come," said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., vice president and chief analyst, Mobile & Wireless, Frost & Sullivan. "This deployment of mobile email for millions of users helps legitimize open source as a realistic alternative to proprietary solutions."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.