In a short press release yesterday, Microsoft announced a deal with the State University of New York (SUNY) to bring the company’s Live@edu cloud-based collaboration services to all 64 SUNY campuses. “SUNY sought to decrease costs while providing its 465,000 students with up-to-date technology necessary for success in college and in today’s workforce,” reads the press release. “As a result, SUNY students will have access to advanced online software, including hosted e-mail, calendars, online storage, Office Web Apps, instant messaging, document sharing and videoconferencing, among other services.” SUNY estimates that the move to Microsoft’s cloud system will save the state roughly $600,000 over the next five years. More →
Research In Motion has been getting a lot of stick recently for not providing government agencies controlled access to their encrypted servers. In August, the United Arab Emirates threatened to pull the plug on BlackBerry services before the two parties reached an agreement. In October, India chimed in on the situation giving the Waterloo based firm an ultimatum: meet compliance standards by January 31, 2011 or get shut down. BlackBerry users in India will be happy/unhappy to know that RIM and the Government of India have reached an interim arrangement wherein RIM will allow for the “lawful interception of BBM services.” RIM still has until January 31, 2011 to come up with a final solution to put this whole thing to bed. In the mean time, it’s business as usual. More →
Today, at DevCon, RIM announced a host of new tools and services for its developers, including:
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM™) Social Platform: Developers can now build applications that take advantage of the BlackBerry smartphone’s social aspects, as well as the push architecture of the BlackBerry platform. By leveraging the power and popularity of BBM, developers can weave functions – such as chat, content sharing and invitation – into their app, tying it directly to BBM.
BlackBerry Advertising Service: With just a few lines of code, developers can quickly and easily integrate advertising into their applications. Developers can include advertising in BlackBerry smartphone applications, while allowing advertisers, agencies and brands to work with a broad selection of advertising networks. RIM also is enabling new monetization opportunities to BlackBerry developers by simplifying the integration of advertising both on the development side and on the commercial side.
BlackBerry Analytics Service: RIM and Webtrends are offering a free enterprise-class analytics service for the BlackBerry developer community. BlackBerry Analytics Service will allow developers to quickly and easily add measurement into their applications and offer deep insight into how customer are using their BlackBerry smartphone applications. With a few lines of code, developers can tie their applications to an analytics service with insights typically reserved for enterprise analytics.
BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware: This new enterprise application development platform is designed to accelerate the creation of “Super Apps” for commercial enterprise and corporate developers. It simplifies enterprise application development and solves some of the challenges of building for mobility, including device OS compatibility and wireless connectivity.
BlackBerry Java Plug-In for MacOS X, which provides a similar level of Eclipse integration as the in-market 1.2 version for Windows;
Theme Builder 6, allowing users to personalize and brand their BlackBerry 6-enabled devices; and
BlackBerry Payment Service SDK, allowing developers to start building payment services into their applications, whether it’s enhanced in-app payments, try and buy offers, or freemium applications. More →
If you are heavily invested in the Google lifestyle, you’ll be happy to know that the search giant has rolled out a new website to keep you abreast on the latest and greatest the G-Life has to offer you. Google New, as it is so aptly named, aggregates all the new and improved services Google has rolled out in the last days, weeks, and months. Changes to AdWords, Docs, Mobile apps… you get the picture. The site allows you to filter new products by your area of interest or by specific product name. You can direct your browser to google.com/newproducts to view the new site. More →
There is a bit of a soap opera going on in the Middle East between Canadian handset manufacturer Research In Motion and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The synopsis of the situation goes like this:
- The Saudi government said it would shut-down BlackBerry messaging services beginning on August 5th. The closure was due to concerns over national security stating that RIM was not in compliance with local laws.
- The United Arab Emirates expressed similar concerns.
- On August 5th BlackBerry messaging services in Saudi Arabia were shut-down for a short period of time before being brought back up again.
Today, Bloomberg is reporting that Saudi Arabia is allowing RIM, and wireless providers, to continue providing BlackBerry messaging services to customers and has not communicated another deadline for compliance. As the article reads, “the fact that there is no new deadline indicates they are close to a solution.” The Communications and Information Technology Commission, the country’s telecommunication regulator, has said it wants a system in place that will allow it to monitor BlackBerry communications in order to prevent terrorism and ensure national security. The report says that Saudi Telecom Co. and the two other major wireless carriers are all testing systems that would “avert a threatened suspension of the messaging service.” More →
Polish site bbnews.pl has published what looks to be the release notes for RIM’s BlackBerry Internet Services version 3.2. Some of the highlights in the new version include: synchronization with Google Calendar, Improved BIS password security, corrected automatic login, improved WAP interface, re-validation of Windows Live accounts, and added Administration Tool functionality for carrier administrators. We’ve got the detailed list ready for your scrutiny after the break. Let us know what you think. More →
Apparently unable to work out a solution to get BlackBerry devices “compliant” with the UAE, the country has stated that it will disable BlackBerry services on October 11th. The Director of the Telecommunication Regulation Authority had this to say:
“With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied.”
All United Arab Emirate carriers are set to comply with the decision. There is also no timetable for a “compliant solution” to be integrated. We’d love to be on the internal RIM email chain this morning…
Thanks, to everyone who sent this over!
Update: We have heard Saudi Arabia is also blocking BlackBerry data services, but unlike the UAE, it is being suspended as of today. Can anyone confirm?
Update 2: Saudi Arabia has started blocking BlackBerry Messenger at this time, but not email, web browsing, or other data services. More →
Microsoft unveiled its new Windows Phone Live website, a companion site that will be integrated into its upcoming Windows Phone 7 handsets. Similar to Microsoft’s MyPhone service unveiled as a beta in May 2009 for Windows Mobile 6.x handsets, the new Windows Phone Live will offer 25GB of SkyDrive storage space and will let Windows Phone 7 users sync contacts, calendars, OneNote files, pictures and more between their handset and the web. The website will also host the Find My Phone service which provides users with the ability to map, ring, lock and remote wipe a missing handset. Microsoft also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 is on track for a global launch in time for the holiday season. At launch, Windows Phone 7 handsets will support five languages including English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and the Windows Phone marketplace will go live in 17 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States. More →
Announced earlier today after months of speculation, Hulu Plus has finally become official. For $9.99 per month, subscribers will be able to watch their favorite shows — including those from seasons past — on a multitude of internet-connected devices. Mobile devices are a go, with iOS devices including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd generation) being the main attraction at this point in time. The best part as far as mobile is concerned is that streaming will work on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Several internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung already have support for the streaming service, and later on in the year, both Sony and Vizio will introduce support in some of their sets ad Blu-ray players. The PlayStation 3 will support the service “soon”, while the Xbox 360 will play nice come 2011. Hulu Plus will officially launch is July, but if you’re lucky you might just be able snag a preview invite. More →
Just a quick little heads up to anyone who relies upon MobileMe, as the service will be down for maintenance overnight from 1am to 3am ET. Downtime is never fun, but it’s sounding a lot like when Apple’s engineers are done with the update we’ll finally see the beta label shed from the updated webmail portion of Me.com. That, and the release of a Find My iPhone app for devices running iOS 3.0 and up.
It’s not a whole lot to go on, but rumors never are. Recent changes to the Account Type statuses of Apple’s MobileMe service is leading many to believe that the cloud-based syncing offering may soon become free. Instead of being labeled as an Individual subscriber accounts are now labeled with Full Member. We have been able to confirm that the changes have occurred on both single license and multiple license family-pack accounts. It’s speculative, but needless to say Apple could stand to benefit from touting the service as free. We’re sure there are a lot of Apple lovers out there who are going to hold their breath extra hard in the days leading up the WWDC keynote. More →
We really love the boys and girls over at RIM, but if you haven’t already noticed, they’re pretty much stuck in 1998. Why do we say that? Well, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (who is absolutely brilliant) started spewing off his nonsense on data conservation at MWC and how “manufacturers had better start building more efficient applications and more efficient services. There is no real way to get around this.” Oh, but there is, Mike. It’s called actually having a wireless data network that can handle the things consumers and businesses want to do on their phones, and it’s called planning. More →
Well would you look at that? Rogers Wireless has become the last Canadian carrier to enter the 21st Century by allowing its subscribers to track their voice, data and SMS/MMS usage in near real-time. All one has to do is log into his or her MyRogers account at Rogers.com, click “Manage My Wireless Services” and select “Voice & Data Usage” to see exactly how bad the damage is. There does appear to be a four hour delay in the information provided, but we’re too elated to care at this point. What we do care about however, is the fact that Rogers’ mobile portal currently does not have any mention of Voice & Data Usage. It’s coming soon, right Rogers? Anyway, while we try and get some answers, hit the jump to check out the screenshots.