Best Software Company: An enthusiastic people connector
A world without wi-fi isn't worth living in, so Pleasanton-based Pronto Networks is making the planet habitable with software that lets businesses and cities deploy giant wireless networks. That means large, public hot spots backed by remotely managed wi-fi switches. The trick requires using ex-military-grade "mesh networks" running heavy-duty operating system software from Pronto to help make hundreds of wi-fi transmitters into little Armies of One. They share the data going up and down, thereby extending wireless computing's range, keeping you plugged in, and taking us all closer to the anywhere-anytime computing singularity (at which point we all theoretically transform into immortal robots). Until that day, Pronto continues to ink deals with municipalities across the country, doing the heavy data lifting so city bureaucrats don't have to.