These two bits of news are proof that RIM needs to learn how to take a great idea through to its execution. Both BlackBerry Unite & BlackBerry Professional Software were promising offerings that fell victim to how RIM implemented them causing them to be doomed to failure… All I have in me is a tearful goodbye and good riddance. See those happy workers in the picture below? They were not so happy once they installed Unite…
RIM just let it be known to carriers that BlackBerry Unite will reach End Of Life come the beginning of July. They are not going to release any new versions past version 1.0.3 and will cut off customer support in 2010. BlackBerry Unite is a free PC application that allowed small groups like a family or small business to share contacts, calendars, & media. It was a great idea that RIM had but was plagued with problems from the beginning. It installed a new browser on your device which broke many things. It also added an IT policy that you could not remove without wiping your device. All in all they had a great idea that that was doomed to failure due to RIM’s crappy execution of a great idea.
Another niche piece of BlackBerry software that will reach End Of Life soon is BlackBerry Professional Software (BPS). The idea behind this package was to offer a low end BES solution for small companies. Once again it was a great idea but RIM went into this with a bad plan. BPS turned into the forgotten stepchild of BES. BPS would get updated months after each BES update and many times is never upgraded at all. It lagged behind in features and really had no purpose other than being a 1/3rd of the price of BES.
BPS left a bad taste in the mouth of everybody who purchased an installed it. RIM would have been better served by just releasing a license of BES that was limited to 5-30 devices with a few other limitations but using the same BES install. Either that or offer some sort of hosted BES that will work with your internal Exchange server. Creating another product was just a waste of time, energy, and customer goodwill. It looks like BPS will be getting the axe as soon at BES 5.0 is released according to our sources.
So what do you think? Will you miss BlackBerry Unite? How about BlackBerry Professional Software?