Thursday, 27 October 2011

RIM and Microsoft Office 365

RIM is rolling out a new cloud-based service for Microsoft Office 365.
RIM is rolling out a new cloud-based service for Microsoft Office 365.
(Credit: RIM)

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has launched a new service that not only extends access to Microsoft Office 365 but lets businesses better manage their BlackBerry devices.
Currently available as a beta for Microsoft Office 365 customers, BlackBerry's Business Cloud Services offers four key benefits to potential customers, according to RIM:
  • Access to Microsoft Exchange online email, calendar, and organizer data from BlackBerry smartphones.
  • BlackBerry Balance technology, which lets users see both personal and work-related content on their phones but keeps the two separate from each other.
  • Online access to smartphone security features where users can remotely lock or wipe their smartphones or reset their passwords.
  • An online console where IT admins can manage and secure the BlackBerry smartphones used by company employees.

"BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is an easy and cost-effective way for businesses and government agencies to extend Microsoft Office 365 to BlackBerry smartphones and manage the deployment in the cloud," RIM Vice President Alan Panezic said in a statement. "We have been working together with Microsoft and select customers through an early access program and we are pleased to now launch an open beta for the service."

RIM unveils cloud service for Microsoft Office 365 users | Webware - CNET:

Frankly we at the Web 3.0 Lab have never fully understood Microsoft mobile strategy.  They seem to be perfectly happy with the iPhone being out there, they complain about Android though they collect license agreements on most Androids sold, they have a strategic relationship with one of the top business phone vendors and they push their own phone.

For Microsoft the future is the cloud.  Even if the make a OS for small devices this OS may gain them little more than Internet Explorer, a long term headache.  Frankly the web industry would be delighted to see IE in all its version vanish.

Mobile devices are becoming nothing more than windows to the Cloud, and Microsoft's Cloud is a business cloud.  RIM has a well established proven technology that could easily catch up, and the Blackberry remains popular in the Enterprise.  Microsoft should abandon the sinking ship of Windows Mobile and purchase RIM and turn that in to their platform.

But there may be method to the madness, unlike Apple Microsoft and Google make software, and being trapped in a single hardware platform is not where Microsoft wants to be.  But also being forked between two main platforms, where one is highly established does not really make sense either.

See also Microsoft and RIM make partnership
What is Office 365
All my posts on Office 356