Feeds

AOL plans mobile phone instant messenger

Tegic purchase signposts next expansion area

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

AOL has boosted its "AOL Anywhere" strategy with the acquisition of Tegic Communications, a Seattle-based outfit specialising in wireless text messaging. Tegic builds smart software that can be used by cellphones to allow single key entry of text messages, thus making it a lot easier to use them, and AOL intends to work with the company to produce, among other things, a wireless version of AOL Instant Messenger. That however begs an interesting question. Tegic claims its software has already been licensed to manufacturers representing 90 per cent of the world's cellphone output, but essentially it's something that's going to be embedded in the mobile phone by the manufacturer. It's possible to use the software on other devices that have the capability to load it (a Palm Pilot, for example) but the major market is going to be cellphones. So go figure. Already in parts of Europe - most famously, Helsinki - use of mobile phone short message services (SMS) is exploding as a wireless, mobile version of PC-based instant messaging. Except it's going to be a lot bigger, and AOL not being the kind of company to miss this sort of trend, it's climbing on the band-wagon. But rolling out a branded service like AOL Instant Messenger into an area like SMS is going to be tricky. Phones come with SMS as standard, so there's got to be something extra to attract users to the AOL flavour. Crossover platforms, and interoperability between SMS and PC instant messaging look like sensible lines of attack. A Communicator or a mobile phone that could send and receive instant messages transparently would certainly have its attractions. But of course AOL has to get the software onto the client, which means deals with the phone manufacturers and - maybe - AOL badged mobile phones. Tegic's software, by the way, works by using a dictionary of commonly typed words, and comparing keystrokes to it. So instead of having to press the mobile phone key several times in order to get a particular letter, you just tap away and the software decides which word you mean. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.