I am glad that both CrackBerry & the BoyGenius have confirmed this huge rumor. This last week I have heard from some of my solid sources that RIM is planning on bringing the BES solution to BIS customers for free. It will be called BlackBerry Express from what I am hearing now. It is even rumored that RIM might be announcing the upcoming update at MWC this week in Barcelona. Details are still a bit murky and it looks like we will have more for you tomorrow from one of our sources but so far this is what I have heard:
- Something like the BES 5.0 solution will be available for FREE for both consumers and businesses and it will be integrated with BIS
- It will have remote wiping and locking along with wireless calendar, contacts, notes, and other information synched like BES does now
- There will be no licenses or CAL’s for this solution
- The free solution will have some limits like up to 1500 users and no high availability and no database mirroring. Separate databases and can be installed in the same environment as enterprise.
- Its supposed to launch the first of next month!
- Consumers will still be able to use the lower priced BIS plans to connect to this new offering instead of the higher priced BES data plans
- There have been quite a few BIS software updates recently to accommodate this new solution
Right now the full details are not out but the solution is definitely coming soon. This will be a HUGE step in the right direction for RIM if they manage to pull it off without screwing it up like BlackBerry Unite. I am betting that this will be a big game changer and a great answer to ActiveSync. The truth of the matter is that RIM should have done this ages ago. We always thought they did not do it because it would cannibalize their enterprise business but in truth they make 85% of their money off smartphone sales with only 5-10% attributed to BES sales.
So what do you think about this?