From mid-2008, the agreement will allow RIM to integrate Windows Live services into the BlackBerry platform, allowing customers to communicate via e-mail and instant message in real-time using push technology.
Enhanced features such as rich HTML e-mail access, instant message connectivity, and group chats are expected to improve business collaboration and entertainment for BlackBerry users.
The agreement comes amid long-standing rumours of deeper collaborative efforts between RIM and Microsoft.
But according to Mark Novosel, Telecommunications Market Analyst at IDC Australia, a RIM acquisition by Microsoft is unlikely.
“RIM are doing very well in their segment of the market and are continuously expanding market share, as well as launching in new markets around the world to expand reach,” he said.
“I would highly doubt that RIM would be willing to consider selling at this stage.”
Currently, the Smart Phone market is the most dynamic segment of the Australian mobile market, dominating 26.8 percent of mobile device imports in Q4 2007, according to IDC.
Nokia dominated the $586.48 million Smart Phone industry with a market share of 86.5 percent during the period, while RIM took second place with a market share of 5.0 percent.
Harvey Sanchez, Windows Live lead at Microsoft Australia, said that the new agreement with RIM is one of many such agreements between Microsoft and other mobile services platforms, including select Nokia devices.
While Microsoft will continue to invest in the Windows Mobile operating system, the company is encouraging the use of Windows Live services on a variety of mobile devices and operators also, he said.
“Consumers want to be able to get their web services from various mobile phones and operators,” Sanchez said.
“It’s important for our customer needs and business growth to work with all industry players, not just Windows Mobile.”
“That said, we always build first for Windows Mobile and are able to deliver the best customers scenarios on Windows Mobile based on our integration at Microsoft,” he said.
Microsoft, RIM strike Windows Live services agreement
By Liz Tay on May 15, 2008 2:24PM