Strengths and Weaknesses of Leading BlackBerry Alternatives. As organizations evaluate alternatives to the BlackBerry platform, two leaders have emerged: GoodLink from Good Technology and Microsoft ActiveSync -- via Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 and Windows Mobile 5.0's Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP).

GoodLink has been in the market for several years and is quite a mature solution. Messaging managers we've talked to feel that the security and manageability features are quite comparable to those that RIM offers in the BlackBerry enterprise server. (However, it should be noted that Good has litigation worries of its own in an ongoing dispute with Visto Corporation.)

A major attraction of Microsoft's ActiveSync offering is the lack of any additional server or client licensing costs. In a recent informal poll, three out of four managers evaluating BlackBerry contingencies indicated that Microsoft's ActiveSync was their alternative of choice over GoodLink. Although the security and management capabilities are regarded as less mature than RIM or Good, it's certainly difficult to argue with "free."

However, neither of the above alternatives is of immediate use to organizations running Notes/Domino. Offerings from Intellisync (recently acquired by Nokia) or iAnywhere (the former Extended Systems offerings, now part of Sybase) are plausible BlackBerry alternatives for IBM/Lotus messaging managers to explore. ... David Via (editor: Richi Jennings)