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Dell tells staff to ditch BlackBerry and go Venue Pro

Dell has stuck its middle finger up at BlackBerry manufacturer RIM, telling its staff to ditch their BlackBerrys and take up the company's own Windows Phone 7 Venue Pro.

Dell has stuck its middle finger up at RIM, telling its 25,000 staff to throw away their BlackBerry devices in exchange for one of the company's own Venue Pro smart phones.

The changeover, which begins next week according to the Wall Street Journal, is a show of valour from Dell, who has high hopes for its Windows Phone 7 mobiles to become a dominant force, particularly in the business world where BlackBerry still holds sway.

Indeed, the Dell Venue Pro is built for business users -- it's rather bulky and more corporate-looking than the other Windows Phone 7 handsets that have been released. The Windows Phone 7 operating system also features some useful applications for the high-powered business bunch, such as Office Live services.

The Dell Venue Pro has a business-flavoured Qwerty keyboard, something none of the other UK Windows Phone 7 mobiles have yet, although we reckon we'll see the LG Optimus 7 Q before long. Eventually, Dell wants to offer phones powered by Google Android, and is making moves to persuade its business partners to go for the new handsets.

BlackBerry phones are still the choice of suits throughout the world, but smart phone alternatives are now being released that can do everything RIM's crop of handsets can, and more. It's becoming more common for business bods to bring their Android and iPhone devices into the workplace, and Dell simply wants a piece of this pie.

It's perfectly understandable. If you worked at Microsoft, for example, you probably wouldn't feel too welcome if you started waving around an iPhone or Android handset.

If you're after a second-hand BlackBerry, keep an eye out online -- there is talk of a site being set up for Dell to sell off the old handsets. We're not entirely sure whether this is serious or just banter, but we'd like to imagine Dell tossing them all in a RIM-filled skip.