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When Is A Blackberry Not A Blackberry?

Could it be that the software that runs the Blackberry - the e-mail application, synchronization software and other tools - be more valuable that the device itself? Research in Motion, the maker of the popular Blackberry smartphone, said today that it will introduce software later this year for devices running on the Windows Mobile 6 operating system, such as the Palm Treo, to make them look more like Blackberrys.

The Blackberry look will be added to the phones and won't replace the Windows Mobile features, the company said. Users will be able to switch back and forth between Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

The news comes less than a week after Blackberrys across North America experienced a service outage that lasted for several hours. The outage only affected the e-mail functionality - considered to the be the key feature of the devices - but did not impact voice services.

Extending its popular features to other devices could help the company gain more subscribers but could also hurt sales of the devices, which brings in about 73 percent of the company's revenue, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

By Sam Diaz  |  April 23, 2007; 11:21 AM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
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Comments

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Maybe a shrewd move on RIM's part. I am surprised people aren't turning to that Windows Mobile/Exchange solution more, but if RIM can wedge their way into this market, perhaps that gives them something of a future.

Posted by: Greg Lygon | April 23, 2007 4:38 PM

If the mess is over for you: consider yourselves lucky. A local Portland "tower" problem (we are told) still is giving fits to bberry users in downtown Portland, Oregon. I received no bberry msgs from about 9:30PM Sunday evening until 8:30 this morning-- when I received 41 messages in a two-munute period! At work, my ocmputer showed that these 41 messages arriveed on my computer over the entire 11-hour period. During the past several days, lots of us here have been without service for many short spurts and several long interruptions since the "big one" that brought down the entire system." I am certain that RIM does not want this bad publicity to compound ther system-wide problems. I wonder if other cities are still suffering as we are here in Portland, Oregon?

Posted by: Ex DC, now Portlander | April 23, 2007 7:47 PM

Here are RIM's take from the WP article on the subject:

...Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive, said the company's corporate clients made it clear that they would prefer to standardize around a single mobile e-mail platform, but not be confined to BlackBerry devices, "which seemingly was a paradox."

"You have a responsibility of either supporting openness or you're not the standard platform," said Balsillie. "If you don't do this you're really not giving the carriers and corporations what they expect."

It seems to me RIM saw the writing on the wall - broaden your service or be marginalized.

Posted by: Ed | April 23, 2007 9:46 PM

Can u play play video or hear music on ur blackberry web
brouser

Posted by: george | April 24, 2007 3:50 AM

Windows Mobile is perhaps the only UI the horrific blackberry interface could improve. why do IT departments saddle their users with this barely useful trash?

Posted by: Fade | April 24, 2007 6:30 AM

I honestly don't understand why RIM would make this move. This should lead anyone that believes that their organization may switch from BlackBerry to Windows Mobile and Outlook, (or anyone that believes that they may change jobs and wants their phone to work with Exchange directly OR BlackBerry) to purchase a Windows Mobile-based smart phone. Once someone has a CHOICE and realizes that they can save an INCREDIBLE ammount of $$ by just getting rid of their BES Servers and using the built-in (and already paid for) services in Exchange Server, why would they keep BES Servers around?!? (If your user's devices support both technologies, why wouldn't you just go with the one that doesn't involve additional costs?) -If Exchange can provide email to mobile devices on it's own; what do you need BlackBerry for? -Someone please introduce me to the world where this makes sense from RIM's perspective...

Posted by: Ema Nymton | April 25, 2007 10:29 AM

"SECURITY" How secure is windows?????

Posted by: John Chavis | April 25, 2007 10:53 AM

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