BlackBerry OS: New BlackBerry Apps, MS Buying RIM?

Two new BlackBerry applications out today are aimed at helping mobile IT with wireless security and mobile device management issues relating to the BlackBerry OS.

But that's not the only news pertaining to Waterloo that's grabbing headlines --the mobile rumor mill spews forth on the possibility of Microsoft buying Research In Motion.

Fiberlink today introduced MaaS360 Visibility Service for Handhelds, a subscription-based service that provides mobile enterprises with the tools needed to oversee BlackBerry devices. The new "mobility-as-a-service" extends the company’s MaaS360 platform to include handheld mobile devices in addition to existing desktop, laptop, Macintosh, USB and netbook reporting.

The goal of the MaaS360 Visibility Service is to provide a streamlined interface for reporting business intelligence, by giving mobile IT a unified view of all their mobile inventory.

Fiberlink's news comes at a time when mobile enterprise management is becoming increasingly complex as IT is faced with supporting multiple types of mobile devices on different operating systems. The past year saw the maturation of Google's Android OS, along with Palm's webOS, as the iPhone continued to make inroads in the workplace.

This trend was outlined in a recent report by Forrester Research, "The Mobile Operating System War Revisted," which says: "Enterprises are headed in the direction of embracing multiple mobile operating systems and giving individuals the freedom to choose the platform that's best for them. Because of the groundswell of personal devices IT is being asked to support, it makes sense for most firms to embrace flexibility by supporting multiple platforms."

IT managers using Fiberlink's new handheld service will have detailed reporting for management, cost analysis and compliance of their BlackBerry devices and supporting applications, according to the company.

MaaS360 Visibility for Handhelds is available from Fiberlink immediately and can be integrated into any existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server without additional hardware.

Smartphone Security: Mobile Wi-Fi App for BlackBerrys

Cellcrypt is responding to recent concerns about mobile call security by launching a Wi-Fi version of its secure mobile voice calling application aimed at corporate and government employees. The free 90-day trial period offer provides what the company calls a quick and easy “rapid response” solution for senior executives who have become increasingly concerned about the risk of mobile voice call interception -- especially when traveling abroad-- following recent news of advances in mobile phone call hacking.

With Cellcrypt, a traveling executive can use his or her BlackBerry to make calls over a Wi-Fi network to another Cellcrypt user anywhere in the world and be assured that the content of their call is protected, according to Cellcrypt.

A recent ABI Research study showed that while 80 percent of businesses regard mobile calls as being at least as vulnerable as e-mail, only 18 percent have adequate mobile voice call security solutions in place.

RIM Rumors: Microsoft Readying RIM Acquisition?

As Microsoft's mobile market share continues to tank, the software giant may be taking the "if you can't beat them, buy them" approach as rumors of Microsoft scooping up RIM make the rounds.

All Things Digital this week reports that multiple sources at Microsoft say that Chief Steve Ballmer has expressed interest in acquiring the BlackBerry-maker.

The mobile rumor mill this week amped up the possibility of Microsoft buying RIM after it was announced that Ballmer is to personally host Microsoft's press conference during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

At the conference, Ballmer is expected to unveil the latest version of Microsoft's mobile platform, Windows Mobile 7, and the company's hopes of sustaining any chance in the smartphone market are dependent on its success.


Blackberry, smartphone security, RIM, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry Apps