Research in Motion's Blackberry smartphones will support Microsoft's web-based Live services providing consumer e-mail and instant messaging services as from this summer.
In what appears a win-win situation, Microsoft will have access to one of the most highly respected brands in corporate telephony and will increase its user base to a niche audience, beyond its Windows Mobile platform while Blackberry seems to accept the fact that it needs to shed its business-only messaging device.
Blackberry users just have to enter their user and passwords to access their Live messsenger client and Hotmail accounts within seconds; it looks like only those two services will be provided and the experience will be web-based only; Microsoft has not spelt out whether the Yahoo user base is also included in the deal.
Microsoft has also provided a set of exclusive features for Blackberry aficionados including the ability to use more than 60 emoticons - not really a business oriented addon, the ability to send and receive files and pictures, saving conversation and customising messages.
Hotmail users will also be able to use Blackberry push technology for automatic message delivery and message synchronisation; more than 430 million people worldwide use the Windows Live platform to communicate on a regular basis.