Mobile Users Get a Glimpse of Portable Life

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF. (03/06/2000) - Participants in this year's Mobile Insights show were given a sneak preview today of a Web portal called Portable Life, which will feed targeted and highly personalized content and technical support to connected or disconnected wireless devices.

"This year alone, the sale of portable devices will exceed desktop purchases," said Mike Elgan, vice present of editorial direction for Portable Life. "And with an estimated 61.5 million portable device users by the year 2003, this new portal will provide services and information that mobile technology vendors simply can't provide for their customers."

Slated for launch in April, Portable Life will provide a customized experience that in some cases will push information to the user that is relevant to the particular mobile device he or she is using. For instance, an IBM ThinkPad user can request notification of the latest system upgrades, and have that information pushed either to his or her e-mail, pager, or cell phone.

Portable Life also will provide services to help the mobile user select the right mobile products. By supplying information about a user's mobile work requirements, Portable Life will help users make better decisions as to which mobile operating system best suits their needs, and which configuration is most appropriate.

Other Portable Life services will include options for wireless connectivity to the Web while the user is on the road.

Partnering with companies such as iGo, Cellmania.com, and Pen Computing, Portable Life will offer co-branded pages and links to e-commerce sites and other on-line services such as printing and document management.

Portable Life will run more than 200 articles a week on mobile computing, including tips for managing information, troubleshooting, and advice on how to best utilize a particular mobile device.

Product Trax, a regular feature of Portable Life, will provide mobile product ratings according to a user's personal preferences to assist in buying decisions and provide a better fit between device and user.

Financed by Monarch Capital partners and backed by industry veterans, Portable Life is the pet project of Dr. Gerry Purdy, the host of the Mobile Insights 2000 Conference.

Portable Life, in Cupertino, Calif., is at http://www.portablelife.com.

Dan Neel is an InfoWorld reporter.

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