Phoenix Technologies Ltd. has released an expanded version of Phoenix FirstWare Assistant, now with support for email. The Phoenix cME certified application, designed for mobile professionals, now allows users of any Windows-based notebooks, tablets and ultra-portable PCs instant “read-only” access to their email from Microsoft Outlook without the need to launch the primary operating system. The product, available this month, was introduced at the CeBit technology trade show in Hanover, Germany.
The application complements the users’ access to Outlook personal information manager (PIM) data (see Phoenix press release of September 8, 2003) and offers more advanced functionality and easier deployment in new or installed machines. This unique offering from Phoenix delivers more convenience and productivity to mobile professionals, and it enables PC manufacturers and resellers to differentiate mobile products, build brand loyalty and improve margins.
“Having to carry both a PDA and a notebook so you can check email or your calendar is pointlessly redundant,” said Rob Enderle, Principal Analyst for The Enderle Group. “By turning a notebook into a super-PDA, you address the need for immediacy that a PDA user has without requiring they carry one more device they can break or lose. In the PDA mode, the laptop is also less vulnerable to viruses, has longer battery life, and is easier to remotely diagnose and repair. The only real question is why someone didn’t do this a long time ago.”
Robert Lewis, CEO of CFL, a system builder in the UK, said, “Added value is an important component for increased sales in the highly competitive PC marketplace, where machines have become a commodity. One key to our success is the ability to serve enterprise customers with systems configured in a way that helps to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Phoenix FirstWare Assistant helps us meet those customers’ expectations for superior value.”
Phoenix FirstWare Assistant effectively turns the mobile Windows-based PC into a “read-only” PDA, so there’s no need to purchase a separate device that must be synchronized. Users of tablet PCs, notebooks and ultra-portables installed with Phoenix FirstWare Assistant simply push a button or hot key upon start-up for instant access to their Microsoft Outlook email and PIM data – such as calendars, notes, and contacts – on the computer screen. This access in the pre-boot environment provides greater convenience and simplicity for time-constrained users.
“Our employees are this company’s most valuable resource, so we depend a great deal on the productive time they contribute each day,” said Ben Haidri, Vice President of Marketing for Absolute Software. “Consequently, it is our responsibility to provide tools that help them work most efficiently. Phoenix FirstWare Assistant is an important part of that approach because it gives our employees instant access to the application they use most.”
The solution is specifically developed for mobile PCs, which are among the highest growth segments in the PC category. IDC estimates that notebook shipments worldwide will grow from 36 million in 2003 to 43 million in 2004, and the firm expects tablet PCs to reach nearly 20 percent growth in 2004. In the next year, more than 55 million workers in the U.S. alone will be mobile, a figure that continues to increase.
“Secure mobile access to important business information is a fundamental requirement for running and expanding successful enterprises,” said Michael Goldgof, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Products Division for Phoenix. “Phoenix FirstWare Assistant with email support is another key step toward truly secure, convenient access to business-critical information for mobile professionals. The application has already been validated and shipped by some of the world’s largest PC OEMs because it helps them build a market advantage into the core of each machine. This helps to create new revenue in a market that’s too often characterized by competition in price rather than in value.”
Phoenix FirstWare Assistant is “instant-on” rather than “always-on” because it is more economical and practical. A system that is always on requires a continually active, open display with Windows and the application running. However, an instant-on system simply delivers the necessary information on demand. This implementation conserves power and protects vulnerable hardware while mobile, at the same time allowing users rapid access to information. FirstWare Assistant also does not require a separate processor,a second screen, or any other added hardware. The application also provides valuable business continuity benefits in emergency situations. For example, if Outlook or the OS are malfunctioning, users still have access to their last saved emails and PIM data.
Features and benefits of Phoenix FirstWare Assistant include:
- Mobile Outlook Extension, providing access to important business information in the pre-boot environment, increasing productivity and convenience.
- Hot Key Launch, increasing access speed and simplifying use.
- Existing Partition Deployment, reducing deployment time and cost for new and installed PCs.
- Installation Wizard, handling self-installation.
Phoenix FirstWare Assistant requires Microsoft Windows XP; Microsoft Outlook 2000 or later; ATA-5 compliant hard drive (S-ATA drives are not supported); primary or master drive with up to four partitions; Pentium II or later processors; 128 MB of RAM.