Monday, February 13, 2006

Is Microsoft Pushing BlackBerry Aside?

For weeks now BlackBerry users have been asking themselves what are the alternatives if their services are forced to be turned off. However, what they should be asking themselves is even if BlackBerry avoids a shutdown, will the service survive?

Over 900 wireless companies are in Barcelona this week showcasing their latest mobile products, services and solutions at the 2006 3GSM World Congress. The undercurrent at this years show indeed revolves around the problems besetting Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry. The company's patent fight currently being played out in a U.S. court is the topic that many attendees’ are discussing.

BlackBerry provides the only "push" wireless e-mail on the market. This means that the e-mail server sends e-mail to the device as soon as it arrives. The BlackBerry has been popular, but because of the cost most users have are professionals.

Well, Microsoft announced on Feb 13th that they will release a new e-mail software that also pushes messages from a corporate server out to the phones. The new software mimics the speedy delivery of the BlackBerry without requiring the additional costly software and service fees.

The software is being offered as a free upgrade to those licensing the latest versions of Microsoft's Exchange Server and Windows Mobile software. This means no server just mobile e-mail and no license payments to third-party providers are needed. On that cost basis alone the service is going to attract the attention from IT managers.

Motorola and Hewlett-Packard are among those making phones with upgraded Microsoft e-mail technology. Service providers, such as Vodafone and T-Mobile, will add the phones to their lineups

If the Microsoft venture is successful it could bring down the cost so much that companies could offer push e-mail services to all their employees. In an instant the market for wireless e-mail may have become a lot bigger. Sphere: Related Content

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