Indian company aims at instant messaging

BANGALORE — Online chatting in cyberspace is a hugely popular form of communication, especially among the young, and an Indian firm has major ambitions in this sector by cashing in on mobile instant messaging (IM).


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Published: Sun 25 Mar 2007, 9:06 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:54 PM

Geodesic Information Systems Limited has just released the latest version 4.0 of its Mundu IM software, a development that drew attention from California, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and elsewhere.

It provides comprehensive mobile IM with the ability to "cross-conference" across a wide range of otherwise-segregated online chat tools like AIM, MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk and Yahoo. A user can be logged into any or all of these services at the same time.

The product links all these together on a single user-friendly interface. But more than that, it takes chat to mobile phones, instead of keeping it restricted to computers alone.

The Mundu IM fourth-generation tool offers new features like photo sharing, file transfers, e-mail notifications, smart group management, background mode support, message archiving and chat history.

IMs are seen to be replacing e-mail and growing in popularity. But most IM applications run only on a computer. Even with a laptop, this means restricted mobility.

Mundu IM runs on a mobile device, like the Treo 650 smartphone, Palm TX, or Windows mobile Smartphone. Once logged in (via GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, CDMA, or 3G), a user can see all contacts online, chat with them, send them photos, or even have "conferences" (chats with multiple persons). All without needing a computer.

Smartphones are seeing prices drop and could cost around $300. But this software is priced at $11. Atul Chitnis, a senior executive in the firm, told IANS: "Right now, we have released Mundu IM for PalmOS and Windows Mobile devices, but you will very quickly see Symbian, J2ME and versions for other platforms as well. In fact, we are targeting just about every popular mobile platform there is today."

"Here in India, the usage of instant messaging is phenomenal. Students and businessmen, doctors and writers and IT professionals — they all take to IM like ducks to water," he argued.

"Geodesic is an Indian company. The entire team developing our products is Indian, and we are proud of it. We operate out of Mumbai and Bangalore," said Chitnis.

He argued that the company was able to "cater to the holy grail of product development— consumer products, targeted globally, and under our own name, not hiding behind an American or European entity".

This was possible "because Indian product development has begun garnering increased respect over the past few years". "The only real competition at this point comes from people who were in the market before us, or are in a position of strength for other reasons," said Chitnis.

The latter includes giants like Yahoo, who recently announced a mobile messenger for its services, which can also talk to the giant Microsoft's MSN network.

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