Microsoft Windows Live Coming To BlackBerry

instant messaging Windows BlackBerry

The services, coming this summer, will start on the BlackBerry 7000 and 8000 models along with the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9000. According to BlackBerry, devices will be shipped with the services and current device users will be able to download a client to enable them.

The Microsoft/RIM partnership is yet another sign that BlackBerry-- considered by many the gold standard for mobile business email -- is taking a step back from its once buttoned-up mantra that its devices are only for business and adding in more features to let mobile workers use their devices for work and for play. Access to Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger falls in line with other recent, consumer-focused adjustments in Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM's BlackBerry portfolio, which included adding cameras to devices and a host of other multimedia features and functions like music and video players.

Under the new partnership, users with Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger on their BlackBerrys can use the application in real-time to communicate using push technology. Users can also access their Hotmail and Live Messenger accounts from their smartphone by entering their Windows Live email address and password once.

The addition of Windows Live services will let BlackBerry users get push access to their Hotmail email accounts for the first time. Currently, Hotmail messages cannot utilize the push feature of the BlackBerry platform, which can only push POP3 consumer email accounts like AOL, Yahoo and others. Now, according to RIM, BlackBerry push technology can send Hotmail messages automatically and synchronize them so users' online account is kept up-to-date with the actions they take on their mobile devices. Users can also use a dedicated inbox for Windows Live Hotmail messages, which are delivered automatically to the smartphone.

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RIM added that users can also receive messages from other email accounts, along with Hotmail, within a single inbox on their BlackBerry and can display HTML email and view graphics, Web links and contact photos in emails.

When using Windows Live Messenger for BlackBerry, users can send instant messages and join group chats; set status and see the presence of friends and colleagues within Windows Live Messenger or their contact cards; customize status messages; save conversations; showcase their display picture or avatar; send and receive pictures and files; and use more than 60 emoticons.