We’ve been able to independently confirm the following details, though we don’t believe we have all of the information surrounding this announcement yet.
With that said, according to multiple RIM employees, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will be making a “huge” announcement on Tuesday in Barcelona. The announcement is said to be about (at least in part) BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. We’re told this will be relaunched as a free and unlimited user BlackBerry Enterprise Server. You heard that right — a completely free and unlimited user BlackBerry Enterprise Server. We are under the impression BESX will use a user’s existing BIS data plan and not require the more expensive data feature, though this isn’t confirmed. Hit the jump for more!
Additionally, we’ve been told that “BlackBerry Shield for BIS “might get a shout out, too.” I don’t know what that service is, but maybe it’s a remote lock/remote wipe feature for BIS subscribers, or possibly ties into what we describe below? RIM employees have been touting this new BESX offering as an “ActiveSync killer” and while we’re sure it will help small businesses and other users hooked on ActiveSync, this might not help all that much if you still need that second server for the BES. The thing is, that’s kind of why we feel we don’t have the full story at this point — what if RIM is going to do something like a BES in the cloud for BIS users? Give them full OTA syncing, backups, remote wipe/lock, all while not requiring a dedicated BES server? That seems much more sexy to our ears and eyes, but again, that’s just speculation based on the limited amount of information RIM employees have shared with us.
We actually had a RIM employee go on record and give us a quote. When asked about thoughts on the announcement, the employee said, “Internally we are pumped about it. Perfect for SME, and people who are looking at using ActiveSync with other smartphones. It’s not quite RIM-like, giving software with unlimited users away, but a great move.”
Look for this new service (or services) to launch March 1st. More info as we get it!