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RIM takes aim at work-life balance

The new BlackBerry Balance service lets RIM smartphone owners engage in both personal and work-related activities with the same device.

BlackBerry Balance is ready for the corporate world.
BlackBerry Balance is ready for the corporate world. Research In Motion

The idea that a BlackBerry is for work and an iPhone or Android-based device is for play is an idea that Research In Motion wants to take on.

The company today announced a new technology called BlackBerry Balance that it says allows users to engage in both personal and work-related activities without compromising the safety of corporate information. For example, IT managers could create policies that will disable the ability for work information to be copied to e-mail accounts or Twitter, as well as lock down corporate data or files, so they cannot be used on personal applications. When an employee leaves the company, IT staff can remotely wipe corporate data from the device without affecting the user's personal information.

According to RIM, employees won't know that they can't perform certain activities while using the smartphone. However, if they attempt to perform an unauthorized activity, the device will display a notification informing them of their inability to do so.

RIM's BlackBerry Balance is as much about making its smartphones more accessible for personal purposes as it is about security. But it's not the only thing RIM is doing to ensure better security with its mobile devices.

The company also announced today that it's planning to launch a new BlackBerry Enterprise Solution option for both smartphones and tablets. The service will deliver a "single Web-based console" for IT administrators to manage devices remotely. The service will allow them to distribute software, lock devices, enforce or reset passwords, and much more.

What's perhaps most interesting about the service is that it won't be limited to BlackBerry smartphones or the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. According to RIM, BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will also be available to Android- and iOS-based handsets and tablets, thanks to the company's pending acquisition of device-management service provider Ubitexx, which it announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RIM didn't say when it plans to launch its new BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. BlackBerry Balance, on the other hand, is available to the company's smartphones running BlackBerry 6. The service is available via BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express.