The RIM smartphones will offer Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger.
Research in Motion continued its push into the consumer market May
12, announcing an alliance with Microsoft to offer Windows Live Hotmail
and Messenger on all BlackBerry smartphones.
Users will be able to access their accounts from their smartphones
by entering their Windows Live e-mail address and password once. RIM
said the service would be available this summer.
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Live Hotmail users will also be able to use the BlackBerry
"push" technology for automatic message delivery and message
synchronization so that a customer's online account is up-to-date with
actions taken on their BlackBerry. In addition, users will have the
option of receiving their Live Hotmail messages, along with messages
from other e-mail accounts, into a single inbox.
Messenger users will be offered a full range of peer-to-peer
messaging, including the ability to save messages, customize status
messages, use avatars and the use of more than 60 emoticons.
"Over 430 million people around the world rely on Windows Live to
stay in touch," Brian Arbogast, Microsoft's vice president of Mobile
Services organization, said in a statement. "Our collaboration
with RIM will enable BlackBerry smartphone customers to take full
advantage of Windows Live, whether at work or on the go."
The deal with Microsoft comes as RIM opens a busy week at the
Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando, Fla. RIM set the ball rolling
early May 12 by introducing the BlackBerry Bold, a high-end version of
the BlackBerry aimed at both its core base of business users and
The BlackBerry Bold is the first RIM smartphone to support
high-speed HSDPA cellular networks. It also comes loaded with
integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and a host of multimedia features. In an
interview with Reuters, RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said he wouldn't be
surprised "if it gets picked up by the consumer."
RIM President and C-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement that "the
new BlackBerry Bold represents a tremendous step forward in
business-grade smartphones and lives up to its name with incredible
speed, power and functionality, all wrapped in a beautiful and