India testing new solution for spying on BlackBerry users

By on October 4, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

India testing new solution for spying on BlackBerry users

India’s government is currently in the process of testing a solution that will allow it to spy on BlackBerry users sending and receiving data over India’s cellular airwaves. The country’s Telecom Secretary has confirmed that India’s Department of Telecommunications is testing the solution, which will allow government officials to monitor several services tied to Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones. The new solution being tested is part of India’s demands to gain access to messages sent by its citizens, and the government has threatened to ban BlackBerry devices if it is not granted access to users’ data. RIM has cooperated with some of India’s demands in the past, having provided it with the means to see messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger and to monitor web browsing, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor has insisted on multiple occasions that it does not possess the capability to monitor encrypted emails sent and received via its corporate BES service. India’s Telecom Secretary would not specify which BlackBerry services this new monitoring solution addresses.

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RIM loses BES boss to software company

By on September 14, 2011 at 5:20 PM.

RIM loses BES boss to software company

Research In Motion vice president of BlackBerry Enterprise Server John Vandermay has left the company to assume a new position with Gemcom Software International, the Financial Post reported on Wednesday. Gemcom Software International is a software mining company based in Vancouver. While at RIM, Vandermay led a team of more than 400 software developers and testers working on RIM’s BES, among other projects. Vandermay is not the first executive to leave the Waterloo, Canada-based company in recent history. RIM’s chief marketing officer Keith Pardy left the firm in March. In addition, RIM’s former vice president of digital marketing and media Brian Wallace jumped ship to Samsung in June, shortly before Samsung poached RIM’s former BlackBerry PlayBook senior manager Ryan Biden. In August, RIM’s senior director of global developer relations Mike Kirkup announced that he was leaving the company after a 10-year stint. More →

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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 screenshots leak, reaffirm BES revamp

By on August 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 screenshots leak, reaffirm BES revamp

Purported images from version 2.0 of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook OS have been published by a Chinese website. If authentic, they reaffirm several details about the upcoming OS — most notably, perhaps, is the platform’s lack of support for current versions of RIM’s BES enterprise email solution. BGR exclusively reported in early August that RIM has to rewrite its BES code in order to support the PlayBook’s QNX-based OS. As can be seen in the screenshot above, that rewrite is ongoing and as such, it looks like the next major tablet OS build will not support BES email despite finally adding native support for Exchange, IMAP and POP. Beyond that, another screenshot clearly shows an Android icon in the app menu, no doubt the Android Player RIM tablet fans have been clamoring for. Additional screenshots, including the one that shows RIM’s Android app player icon, follow below. More →

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Analyst calls for RIM to break apart handset, network businesses

By on July 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Analyst calls for RIM to break apart handset, network businesses

With Research In Motion’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled to take place later today, one popular RIM-focused analyst is calling for the company to split its handset and network businesses into two separate companies. “RIM’s organization, like its handsets, needs modernization. By acting now, splitting RIM into network and handset businesses may target opportunities and unlock significant shareholder value,” RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday. “RIM’s end-to-end solution was conceived when data devices and networks were nascent — but times have changed,” the analyst continued. Abramsky believes the standalone network business can target a market of roughly 400 million Android devices, Windows Phones, tablets and other devices with “affordable, efficient, cross-platform mobile push messaging, social networking, cloud and business data services (and software)” that is already interconnected with 595 carriers around the globe. On the other end, splitting off RIM’s devices business could accelerate handset innovation, strengthen developer relationships and help the company prioritize its customers and developers over its carrier partners — a sentiment thought by some to be paramount to RIM’s success moving forward. Abramsky reiterated his price target of $35 for RIM stock, noting above-average risk.

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RIM looks to expand BES services to Android, iOS devices

By on May 2, 2011 at 7:23 PM.

RIM looks to expand BES services to Android, iOS devices

Earlier today, Research In Motion announced its intentions to bring its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) its mobile device security and administration services to both Android and iOS. Through its acquisition of ubitexx, the Canadian company is looking to expand the portfolio of mobile devices its BES solution supports. “The single web-based console is being designed to provide IT administrators with a simple and efficient way to distribute software and manage policies, inventory, security and services for BlackBerry devices, as well as other mobile devices,” reads the press release. “IT administrators will be able to manage devices over-the-air, including activating devices, distributing software and applications, locking or wiping devices, enforcing and resetting device passwords, setting IT policies, and managing optional mobile applications for end users. Certain features are expected to remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices because such capabilities are built into the design of a device’s operating system.” The new solution should be available “later this year.” Hit the jump for the full release.

More →

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RIM announces BlackBerry Balance for 'work-life balance' on a single smartphone

By on May 2, 2011 at 9:15 AM.

RIM announces BlackBerry Balance for 'work-life balance' on a single smartphone

Among the stream of announcements from Research In Motion’s BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, the Waterloo-based phone maker on Monday announced its new BlackBerry Balance solution for keeping users’ work and personal data separate on a single BlackBerry smartphone. The solution essentially allows work-related data to be stored in such a manner that it is not accessible to apps the user might install for personal use, like Twitter or Facebook. Work data also cannot be copied and pasted into personal apps when BlackBerry Balance is enabled. “BlackBerry Balance is a win-win for employers and employees,” said RIM’s SVP of software and services, Jim Tobin, in a statement. “It’s a secure and cost-effective way for companies to keep employees connected and productive, while also allowing the flexibility for employees to carry a single phone.” BlackBerry Balance is an included feature in the latest version of RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express software, and it can be utilized on company-owned or employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 6 or later. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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New UAE smartphone rules will affect others as well, RIM says

By on April 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM.

New UAE smartphone rules will affect others as well, RIM says

The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Saturday stated its intentions to limit the access its citizens have to RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. RIM said on Sunday, however, that new regulations in the UAE will impact all smartphones and not just BackBerry devices. “The TRA has confirmed to RIM that any potential policy regarding enterprise services in the UAE would be an industry-wide policy applying equally to all enterprise solution providers,” RIM said in a statement. This is clearly a touchy subject for RIM. The secure smartphone maker has been at war for years with officials in India demanding access to corporate emails sent and received with its devices, and now the fight has spilled over into other countries. RIM insists that other companies are impacted by these regulations as well, however, and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis recently stormed out of an interview when pressed on the subject. Of course India’s regulations are affecting other companies, but RIM gets the most media attention because its devices have touted security so much since their introduction, and because RIM is the only company so far that said it cannot grant India the access it needs. More →

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Microsoft, RIM to unveil free hosted BlackBerry service, report suggests

By on March 16, 2011 at 10:42 AM.

Microsoft, RIM to unveil free hosted BlackBerry service, report suggests

According to a report filed by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft and RIM could announce a new, free, hosted BlackBerry service as early as today. Citing anonymous sources close to the plans, the site reports that the two companies will collaborate to provide the cost-effective BlackBerry Enterprise Service to customers utilizing Microsoft’s hosted Exchange 2010 Online service. “RIM is only mobile OS that doesn’t use (Microsoft) ActiveSync-aware devices and has a separate device management platform – the BES environment,” said the site’s source. “Most large enterprise customers run a on premise [sic] BES server to get the advanced device management.” A Microsoft data sheet updated yesterday seems to confirm the free offering, but Microsoft has yet to publicly announce the program. More →

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RIM eyes competitors’ platforms in search for new revenue channels

By on January 17, 2011 at 6:59 PM.

RIM eyes competitors’ platforms in search for new revenue channels

At an event last week in Boston, RIM VP Pete Devenyi said the company is exploring the possibility of introducing cross-platform solutions that would allow IT professionals to manage smartphones made by companies other than RIM. “BlackBerry is and will continue to be dominant in most corporations,” Devenyi said in an interview. “It’s not going to be the only device, given the fact that consumers have the choice to bring in their own devices, and IT departments are often letting them in. So there’s a question there: do those corporations have to manage those devices differently or is there the possibility that RIM might extend capabilities to make it easier for those corporations to manage those devices as well?” This is hardly the first time RIM has explored its competitors’ platforms as a possible way to widen its net. For years, RIM has been experimenting with a variety of cross-platform tools that might help the company develop new revenue channels. The most well-known example is likely RIM’s BlackBerry Application Suite, which we showed off exclusively two years ago. BAS would have allowed BlackBerry software to be installed on platforms like Windows Mobile and Symbian so that companies could deploy BlackBerry services on a variety of popular smartphone operating systems. The current state of RIM’s BAS software solution is unknown. More →

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RIM announces BlackBerry Protect

By on July 12, 2010 at 1:02 PM.

RIM announces BlackBerry Protect

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RIM’s consumer-grade protection software for BlackBerry smartphones, dubbed Blackberry Protect, has just been officially announced. Rumored for months, the new service lets customers not attached to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server:

  • Protect important information on a lost BlackBerry smartphone by remotely wiping or locking the device from your desktop
  • Remotely add contact information to the home screen of a locked BlackBerry smartphone so it can be returned if found
  • See your BlackBerry smartphone’s location and pinpoint the current whereabouts of a lost or stolen device with cell tower and GPS device tracking
  • Find a nearby misplaced BlackBerry smartphone by remotely activating a loud ringer
  • Back up data from your BlackBerry smartphone (including Contacts and Calendar; Memos and Tasks; Browser Bookmarks and Text Messages) over Wi-Fi
  • Restore your data to a new BlackBerry smartphone, or simply switch from one BlackBerry smartphone to another

We recently got a demo of the Protect software, and — to be honest — we think it’s pretty solid. It will be in beta starting this week, and a more open beta later this year. More →

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RIM and Prism settle patent dispute

By on May 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM.

RIM and Prism settle patent dispute

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A five-month old ITC patent dispute between Research In Motion and Omaha-based Prism Technologies has been settled. Back in December of 2009, Prism had asked the ITC to block the importation of BlackBerry smartphones, servers and sofrware into the U.S. on the grounds that RIM was violating one of Prism’s patents. At the heart of the dispute was a Prism patent described as providing an “innovative way of controlling access to protected electronically stored data and information requested by a device using an Internet Protocol network.” The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but documents filed with the ITC reveal that the companies have entered into a “license and settlement agreement.” More →

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RIM's BESX goes live, available for download

By on March 1, 2010 at 12:31 PM.

RIM's BESX goes live, available for download

BESX

Last month we reported on RIM’s announcement of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (BESX). And today, we are happy to report that BESX is alive, well, and ready for download on RIM’s website. As previously mentioned, BESX is RIM’s solution for small and medium sized businesses who could benefit from the centralized control and functionality of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) but can’t justify the cost of a full fledged BES. We’ve got the official RIM BESX site all linked up for you. We’ll be sticking to a regular BES server around these parts, but what about you guys? More →

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Rogers clears up US data roaming with new One Rate plans

By on February 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM.

Rogers clears up US data roaming with new One Rate plans

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We know the boo birds are going to have a lot of fun with this, but today Rogers officially introduced North American One Rate data roaming plans. In exchange for an extra $10 per month, Rogers subs will be able to get their data freak on south of the 49th without having to pay a penny for per Kb data roaming. Instead, the used data deducted directly from their normal monthly data bucket. Here are the plans:

  • $20 Personal Email on BB CDN/US
  • $35 Consumer/Small business BB (BIS) 500MB CDN/US Plan
  • $35 Consumer/Small business 500MB CDN & US Data Plan
  • $40 Consumer/Small business BB (BIS) 1GB CDN & US Plan
  • $40 Consumer/Small business 1GB CDN & US Data Plan
  • $45 500MB CDN & US Mobile Internet Flex Rate Plan
  • $50 DAP (for MSD customers) 1.5GB CDN & US Data Plan
  • $55 Corporate BB (BES) 1GB CDN & US Plan
  • $55 Corporate BB (BES) 500 MB CDN & US Flex Rate Plan

We don’t think the One Rate roaming plans will “shatter people’s perception of wireless data roaming when visiting the United States” as Rogers has stated, but we also think it’s hard to argue against the transparency of the new plans. Now to do something about voice and SMS…

Fun fact: There’s nothing that says you can’t switch to this plan as you’re boarding your flight to NYC and then removing it as soon as you’re back on Canadian soil. More →

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