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RIM give away BlackBerry server software to bolster small- and medium-sized businesses

You're probably aware, from the flurry of mobile-centric news, that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has exposed some great new developments in the world of smartphones. This bit of news, from the creators of the BlackBerry, isn't exactly 'sexy', but it could be great news if you own, or work for, a small- or medium-sized business. Yesterday, RIM announced that they would be giving away a free version of their BlackBerry Express Server, the piece of software that interfaces with Windows Small Business servers and Microsoft Exchange. Its page is up on the RIM website, but it isn't yet available for download.

They'll also be bringing out a version of the server that you'll have to pay for, but the free version still has tons of functionality! You can edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint files from your BlackBerry while on the move, for example -- in fact you could use any service behind the corporate firewall, which is pretty neat. The pay-for version of the server software will include video conferencing (so the big-wig CEOs can keep an eye on the underlings), better social network support and PBX access (pretty funky).

I can't imagine many businesses provide iPhones for their employees, but this juicy tidbit from RIM should ensure that BlackBerry phones continue to be found in the pockets of most businessmen. Thinking about it, this might be more aimed at keeping its customers away from the new Windows Phone 7!

[via CNET]

Tags: blackberry, free, microsoft exchange, microsoft office, MicrosoftExchange, MicrosoftOffice, rim, server, windows small business, WindowsSmallBusiness

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