Microsoft Canada Co. and Rogers AT&T Wireless announced this month that the software maker’s Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone 2002 operating system will be available to customers on the carrier’s Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) network. Under the agreement, the companies will work together to provide and promote wireless offerings to business users. The Pocket PC Phone Edition platform, coupled with other server products, will allow customers to synchronize their calendar, e-mail, contacts and notes on their Rogers wireless device. In addition, customers can send, receive and view files created in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Rogers’ wireless clients will have the option of wireless communications – voice, e-mail, MSN Messenger or short message service (SMS), the company said.

Tropic strikes it rich

Despite troubled times, Tropic Networks Inc. announced it has secured US$20 million in financing following the release of its latest metro-optical networking offering – keeping its cash flow out of the red. The Ottawa-based company said this month it has gained the continued support of five existing investment firms, including lead investor Celtic House Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs’ Private Equity Group, Kodiak Venture Partners, Crescendo Ventures and Merchant Bank and the private equity division of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. According to Tropic, the financing allows the company to refocus on its metro-DWDM offerings, having previously delivered on its promise of true transparent optical networks with its TRX-24000 metro-DWDM platform.

Nanotech gets boost

The University of Alberta, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Alberta Innovation and Science announced this month they are working together to establish the Center of Excellence in Integrated NanoTools, a research centre the university hopes will make it a world leader in nanotechnology. Also referred to as molecular manufacturing, nanotechnology deals with the design of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter, ranging in size from 0.1nm to 100nm, according to the Institute of Nanotechnology in Stirling, Scotland. However, the goal of the Center is to provide researchers with an environment to better understand and develop nanotechnology, which could enable the development of microchips, microsystems and nanodevices. Alberta Innovation and Science and the University of Alberta will provide $500,000 and $700,000 respectively. The University of Alberta is already home to the National Research Council (NRC) National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), established in 2001.

CGI snaps up consultants

Montreal-based outsourcing provider CGI Group Inc. continued its buying ways as the company recently announced that it had acquired Halifax-based Cornerstone Project Management Group Inc. CGI only recently completed its acquisition of Montreal-based Cognicase Inc., which also provided IT outsourcing and public sector solutions. At the time of the proposed bid for Cognicase, CGI’s Chairman of the Board and CEO Serge Godin said the company’s plans were to continue to consolidate the “Canadian services industry.” Cornerstone, a project management and business consulting outfit, currently has 25 individuals working in several verticals that include government, healthcare and financial services. Its customer base includes the Atlantic Blue Cross Care, Maritime Life, the Province of Nova Scotia and Brainworks International. The move will likely bolster CGI’s presence in Eastern Canada, as it already has regional offices in Halifax, Saint John, N.B. and Fredericton.