Visto

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Visto Corporation
Type Private
Industry Software
Fate Renamed Good Technology
Founded 1996
Headquarters Redwood Shores, California
Products PIM and web-based corporate connectivity software
Revenue N/A
Website www.visto.com

Visto is, legally, the parent company of Good Technology,[1] an enterprise software company. Visto was founded in 1996 and offered what was likely the first complete browser-based application suite, among other pioneering offerings. The company acquired Good Technology from Motorola in 2009 and renamed itself for the acquired company.

Visto the Company[edit]

Visto was founded as "Roampage" in 1996 by ex-Javasoft employees Chris Zuleeg, Prasad Wagle, and Hong Bui,[2] David Cowan (a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, the seed investor and Visto's acting CEO in 1996 and 1997[3]) and Daniel Mendez (also a seed investor and Visto's CTO).[4] Doug Brackbill was brought on as CEO in 1997.[5] By late 1997 there were over 40 employees, and the company name was changed to Visto.

In 1996, the target customer was the mobile professional. When this user base was not expanding as fast as desired, a free Visto Beta service was opened to everyone by summer 1997, with the first "Commercial Release" in April 1998, when functionality and services above the baseline were offered for a fee. Customer growth increased, but never generated profitable revenue stream. Consumer services were terminated c. 2002, when Visto returned focus to OEM and corporate customers.

In 1998, Visto was in talks with Palm Computing, and Wireless Knowledge (a Qualcomm-Microsoft joint venture). Visto partnered with Geocities before Geocities was acquired by Yahoo.

In 2003, Visto bought the push email software solutions division of British-basedPsion, which had been created in 2002 as a new division called Psion Software.

On February 23, 2009 Visto announced it had bought Good Technology from Motorola. Visto closed acquisition of Good Technology on March 2, 2009 and changed the Visto name to Good Technology.

Visto the Product/Service[edit]

In 1996, Visto offered what was likely the first complete browser-based application suite: including email, to-do list, calendar, address book, remote file storage, browser bookmarks (both IE and Netscape) and allowed these to be synchronized between various computers.[6] Visto pioneered the sharing of calendars, photos and messages between "groups" of customers, allowing one to send invites and coordinate events with other Visto users.

Visto also offered a then-unique push email service allowing corporate email to be accessed outside the company firewall. A Windows service was configured on a machine within the company firewall, which pushed and synchronized email to the easily-accessed Visto servers as well as other end-nodes in the system.

The complete application suite was synchronize-able between Windows-based machines equipped with the Visto software. Syncing to personal information managers (PIMs)--such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Lotus Organizer, and ACT!—was achieved in part by licensing IntelliSync technology. Synchronization was limited to Windows machines, but the synchronized information was available from any machine running Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator/Communicator. Other browsers were not supported.

Initial code development in 1996 and 1997 was in the Java, but performance proved too slow for customer satisfaction and scalability. In late 1997 a transition of the complete code base from Java to C++ was completed.

Patent litigation[edit]

In December 2005 Visto filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for "misuse of proprietary technology".[7] Also in December 2005, Visto signed a licensing agreement with NTP, Inc., licensing NTP's patents in exchange for NTP receiving an equity stake in Visto. In February 2006, Visto sued competitor Good Technology for alleged violations of four patents related to Good's wireless email technology. Again on May 1, 2006, Visto sued competitor, Research In Motion for alleged patent infringement.[8]

On 3 March 2008, Visto and Microsoft announced they had reached a settlement and licensing agreement involving cash and non-cash consideration.[9]

In March 2009, Visto settled its lawsuit with Motorola (who had earlier acquired the first incarnation of Good Technology). As part of the settlement, Visto acquired Motorola's Good Technology division.[10] Visto would shortly thereafter rename itself Good Technology.

In July 2009, Visto settled its dispute with Research in Motion , who disclosed that it would pay Visto $267.5 million.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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