IBM Lotus Applications On Tap For BlackBerry Smartphones

IBM Lotus and RIM will offer Lotus collaboration software and development tools for RIM's popular BlackBerry smartphones, the companies said. The new capabilities are slated to debut throughout the year.

Speaking at a press conference at Lotusphere, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said the work the two companies are undertaking marked "a quantum jump" in combining mobile communications with multimedia software.

In the second quarter BlackBerry users will gain access to documents produced using the Lotus Symphony personal productivity applications: Support for spreadsheets and presentations will be added at a later date. Also available by mid-year will be a BlackBerry client for the Lotus Connections social networking application that will give BlackBerry owners access to activities, communities and blogs.

The companies are also developing software based on the Lotus Quickr 2.0 content management application that will let BlackBerry users find, access and share Quickr-product content such as documents, videos and photos. And the two companies are developing BlackBerry support for the IBM Lotus Domino Designer and XPages development tools, making it easier for developers to build smartphone software. Both technologies will be available in the second half of 2009.

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Balsillie also said BlackBerry smartphones would support Lotus Domino 8.5, the latest release of the Lotus collaboration and communication platform.