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RIM establishes licensing program

The BlackBerry Connect program is part of Research In Motion's ongoing effort to increase the number of devices on which its software and messaging service can be run.

Research In Motion is looking to widen the pool of devices that can support its BlackBerry wireless messaging software and service.

As previously reported, the Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry handheld e-mail device announced Monday at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association conference in New Orleans the formal launch of a licensing program that lets device makers add to their gadgets the ability to use BlackBerry Enterprise Server software to wirelessly access corporate data.

The BlackBerry Connect program is part of the company's ongoing effort to increase the number of devices on which its software and messaging service can be run; also on Monday, RIM announced a deal with Microsoft and Symbian.

RIM has 463,000 subscribers to its service, and, as of Nov. 30, 2002, more than 8,500 organizations had installed the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

The BlackBerry Connect program gives RIM's target business audience, as well as wireless carriers, the ability to choose from a limited number of devices on which to use RIM's wireless messaging service.

RIM and Nokia plan to offer BlackBerry wireless e-mail on the Nokia 6800 phone in the second half of this year. RIM and HTC are working to add BlackBerry service to devices running the Pocket PC and Smartphone operating systems.

RIM also announced Monday that its BlackBerry 6210 devices will be available in North America, with timing of the U.S. launch and pricing of the device in the states to be determined by the company's carrier partners. RIM made a similar announcement of European availability of the BlackBerry 6210 last week at the CeBit show in Hannover, Germany.

The company did not return e-mail requests for comment.

RIM is likely to face some resistance in broadening the number of devices on which its service can be run because manufacturers will be concerned that they will be working with a competitor, according to Good Technology Chief Executive Danny Shader.

Good announced Monday that it is immediately releasing a beta version of its GoodLink Server software for the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. As previously reported, start-up Good and Microsoft have been working together to make GoodLink e-mail service available on handheld devices. A device using GoodLink is expected in the second half of 2003. Shader added that there is already an HTC device running GoodLink.

Good Technology is already working with PalmSource, developer of the Palm OS, to have a Palm-based device that can natively run GoodLink ready by the middle of the year.

Good said more than 600 companies have selected GoodLink for their wireless messaging needs.