Site Helps Businesses Buy Handhelds

FRAMINGHAM (04/19/2000) - Handango this week will change its Web site to make it easier for corporate IT groups to buy handheld computers and applications.

The company now offers five different bundles of applications, aimed at users in different professions or businesses, such as healthcare, engineering, and accounting. The software is drawn from Handango's inventory of about 8,000 titles.

Through a corporate account, for example, a group of accountants can get a complete, downloadable package of applications for devices running the Windows CE, PalmOS or - for the first time - Symbian operating systems.

On Wednesday, when Microsoft formally launches its PocketPC software, the latest version of Windows CE, Handango will unveil a PocketPC Web page, with applications and accessories for the latest CE-based mobile devices from Microsoft's hardware partners, such as Casio.

Corporate accounts can create their own bundles, drawn from the Handango applications library.

The changes mark Handango's own evolution from a shareware site for Palm Pilot users. Originally the company was called GoPDA, and the Web site was palmcentral.com.

Today, the company wants to be a clearinghouse for corporate accounts trying to deploy handheld applications, says Handango CEO Laura Rippy, formerly a Microsoft marketing executive.

Handango also has expanded its customer management services, so corporate administrators now can keep track of the handheld hardware and software being used by their employees.

Prices for the applications vary, based on the terms negotiated between Handango and the software authors. Handango deducts 10% from a customer's first purchase of $500; and 20% from purchases over $2,000.

All Handango customers receive free, basic customer support. Corporate customers can get faster, more direct help for either $100 per reported incident or for a volume-priced contract based on the number of users and applications.

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