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Motorola To Buy Good Technology

The deal gives Motorola wireless messaging, data access, and security products that it can incorporate into its smartphones for business users.

Motorola, the world's No. 2 cell phone maker, on Friday signed a definite agreement to acquire Good Technology, a provider of mobile computing software. Good Technology brings to the table a powerful wireless e-mail offering, giving Motorola a competitive edge in the smartphone market.

The acquisition will help Motorola broaden mobile computing capabilities on smartphones and attract more business customers, the company says. Motorola will gain Good Technology's wireless messaging, data access, and wireless security products and incorporate them into its "advanced productivity solutions for mobile professionals."

Motorola already offers a smartphone for mobile professionals, called the Moto Q. But many have criticized the Moto Q for not having embedded IT support features, which makes it a tough sell to businesses. To match the BlackBerry functionality, the Moto Q will require additional security and management software, according to research firm Gartner. Motorola says it will build on Good Technology's reliable and secure connectivity platform to offer businesses applications beyond wireless e-mail.

The acquisition is expected to close early next year. The companies didn't disclose financial terms of the transaction.

Motorola follows in the footsteps of Nokia, which in February completed its acquisition of Intellisync, another provider of mobile computing software. As a result, Nokia added a software component to its smartphones for receiving e-mail wirelessly. Nokia, and ultimately Motorola, are likely to attract more business customers who heavily rely on smartphones that serve up wireless e-mail. RIM, with its Blackberry devices, is the market leader with the most complete offering out of all the smartphone makers, but the competition is heating up.

Motorola's acquisition of Good Technology could have some negative implications. It could constrain Good Technology's relationship with Palm, which widely offers the company's wireless e-mail software on its Treo smartphones. "This gives Palm more incentive to promote the Windows platform over the Palm OS, as Windows Mobile [at least the latest versions] does not require a third-party client," says Jack Gold, founder and principal analyst at market research advisory firm J. Gold Associates.

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