The enhancement, announced Thursday at the CeBIT trade show in Germany, will enable users who normally carry a personal digital assistant to check their e-mail and calendars to do those jobs via their notebooks. Rather than carrying both devices, they only need their notebooks, said Michael Goldgof, vice president of marketing for Phoenix, in Milpitas, Calif.
In August 2003, Phoenix enabled users to access their PIM (personal information manager) data out of Microsoft Corp.s Outlook application through the FirstWare Assistant without having to boot up the operating system. Now users with FirstWare Assistant-enabled devices can do the same with e-mail.
When a user turns on the notebook, he or she can click on a button before the operating system boots up and access e-mail in a read-only environment, Goldgof said. Future versions of the software will enable two-way functionality for e-mail, allowing users to write or edit messages.
FirstWare Assistant is part of Phoenixs Core Managed Environment, introduced in February 2003, that includes other FirstWare applications, including FirstWare Check for hardware diagnostics and FirstWare Recover to restore the computer to a previous point. FirstWare Assistant also enables users to quickly customize the user interface.
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