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For a long while I’ve been dependent on my Research In Motion Blackberry and it’s clear to me that our relationship isn’t what it once was. What is driving me nuts right now, and certainly an increasing number of other folks, is that the RIM software doesn’t work properly with Microsoft Office 2003.

The word “properly” here means that supposed benefits such as caching (no Exchange wait states) and spam control don’t work. In other words, I’m finding my RIM to be much like a teenage offspring, you want them around but you increasingly don’t want to live with them.

Unfortunately, while I appreciate Palm- and Microsoft-based devices, the handheld I can’t live without is the RIM Blackberry, simply because the RIM gets me my mail when everything else fails. In my line of work, and perhaps yours, getting that mail is incredibly important.

At the same time, while the RIM device is a wireless e-mail powerhouse, it gains lackluster reviews for most other tasks.

The result of the RIM Blackberry’s single-minded purpose means I can’t do all of the other increasingly wonderful things that a Windows Mobile or Palm Source device can do such as listen to music, look at pictures or play videos.

However, the Good Technology Group on Tuesday announced that they had a solution to end my pain. Good Technology’s announcement of GoodLink 3.0, a product that will enable smart phones and PDAs to become a more valid (and vastly less-expensive) alternative to laptop computers.

GoodLink 3.0 (which I haven’t tried) will allows me to get an even better experience off of my Windows Mobile (formerly called PocketPC) or PalmSource devices than I currently get with my RIM Blackberry.

Version 3.0 will mirror my laptop interface in how I can open and use attachments (and will even work with rich attachments like Excel files). It will provide multi-tasking capabilities, letting me leave an e-mail open, check an appointment, and then go back to that open message—a feature we RIM users have longed for. And it actually will work with Office 2003, so I can turn the key features back on.

What makes Good’s approach particularly powerful is they will make GoodLink device agnostic. The company offers its own devices, but it will focus on enabling the devices from others.

Moving between vendors in this way is what helped make Microsoft the company it is today, and, if done properly, can generally result in a very positive (and lucrative) response from customers.

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