BlackBerry, Microsoft Dive Into Cloud Together

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RIM is also expected to launch BlackBerry Protect offering for individuals, home offices and small offices that delivers cloud-based security for smartphones and devices for locking, backup and restore, data wiping and device location.

And RIM plans to release the BlackBerry Management Center later this year. Geared toward SMBs using ISP or hosted e-mail, the BlackBerry Management Center will offer cloud-based control and management of employee devices.

Along with adding more detail to its cloud strategy, RIM also gave more insight into BlackBerry PlayBook, the upcoming BlackBerry tablet. RIM still has not revealed the release date or pricing for PlayBook.

Taylor, however, said PlayBook will feature four distinct connectivity options based on what users require. Personal mode will offer a secure computing experience for personal users with password protection; BlackBerry Bridge mode will offer secure access to e-mail, contacts, intranet and Web through pairing with a BlackBerry smartphone; VPN mode enables the secure connection of a BlackBerry PlayBook directly to a corporate network; and BlackBerry Balance mode, which ties together work and personal content into a unified view while keeping content and applications segmented.

And for PlayBook management in the enterprise, RIM said companies will initially be able to leverage BlackBerry Enterprise Server via BlackBerry Bridge mode and additional management capabilities for PlayBook are on the horizon. Those capabilities include provisioning, configurations, settings, policies, application management and audits.

Combined, Taylor said, RIM's BlackBerry cloud services, its Microsoft Office 365 partnership and the pending release of PlayBook move RIM's cloud computing strategy forward.

"Cloud has always been core to our business," he said, adding "We feel very well positioned."


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