Commentary
2/24/2009
12:11 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary

BlackBerry E-Mail On Windows Mobile

RIM announced a BlackBerry on Windows Mobile Service at Mobile World Congress, according to TheStreet.com. If you are tied to BlackBerry e-mail but prefer a device that has a bit more computing power, this solution may work for you.



RIM announced a BlackBerry on Windows Mobile Service at Mobile World Congress, according to TheStreet.com. If you are tied to BlackBerry e-mail but prefer a device that has a bit more computing power, this solution may work for you.I know a number of people who prefer Windows Mobile over BlackBerry for many features, including better multimedia, Internet browsing, Office support, networking support, and more. The library for third-party apps also seems to be better for Windows Mobile. However, BlackBerry devices have one killer feature -- e-mail. They are so well-known for it that some people call them Crackberry because of their addictive nature. This new service could allow you to satisfy both of your needs. As pointed out in the TheStreet.com article, this isn't the first time RIM has offered this service. I remember several years ago hearing about BlackBerry Connect, a service that ran on earlier Windows Mobile devices. I don't recall that it was that successful, though. I believe a big part of the problem was it seemed to be a preinstalled option only. You had to buy a new device with the service already installed instead of being able to download and install it yourself. This limits you not only to specific models, but it gets even narrower when you look at what your carrier has to offer. I'm not arguing the software should be free, but it shouldn't require a new phone. Personally, I'd love to see this succeed. It gives users what they perceive as the best of both worlds -- a powerful and rich computing device with the popular e-mail service that so many companies and individuals use. I hope RIM is working on a user-installable application, though that would allow more people to use it without having to buy a new device. The article ends with speculation that RIM may offer this on Android, Palm's webOS, and the iPhone, and that brings up an interesting question. I know many people love their BlackBerry, but I think most of that is because of the killer e-mail experience. I don't know anyone that wants a BlackBerry for any reason besides e-mail. However, people want devices running the other platforms, although for a wide variety of reasons. Could RIM be looking forward to a time when other platforms leave them behind in functionality, so instead they focus on e-mail and even device management for various platforms and get out of the hardware business altogether? Microsoft already licenses its Exchange ActiveSync technology to Apple and Palm. Could we see the flip side of this argument -- instead of RIM getting out of making devices, might they eventually include ActiveSync on a BlackBerry? There are a number of companies that run Exchange with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. It would give IT departments the flexibility to use whatever e-mail service they wanted to with devices from a number of makers, including RIM.

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