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RIM Launches New BlackBerry Beta Zone!

BlackBerry Beta Zone Its nice to see that RIM has not forgotten about their App World Test Center and has plans to expand it further. They just announced on their blog that their beta testing program is now open to the public. The new BlackBerry Beta Zone will work side by side with App World’s Test Center (which has not seen an update in 2 months). Doug did a nice job of trying to explain it in the announcement but to sum it all up the Beta Zone will only be for RIM products and will let you discuss the latest products with RIM employees.

They have launched the BlackBerry Beta Zone site with four different beta programs:

  • BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 maintenance release for the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Curve 8530 smartphones. This program will be open to members who live in Canada and will be capped at 1000 participants.
  • BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1. This program will be open to all members.
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.2. This program will be limited to invited organizations only. Stay tuned for more information in future posts on recommending organizations for beta program invites.
  • BlackBerry Beta Zone. This program will be open to any members. This program will be about the BlackBerry Beta Zone itself. It will not include any product software.

I signed up for the BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1 beta program but there is nothing new to download. Could it be that RIM has relegated BlackBerry Messenger 5 back into beta?

I definitely commend RIM for making a huge step forward in opening their beta program to the public. It has HUGE potential but I truly hope RIM will make the most of it. For example, today should be the last day that users will have to resort to RapidShare or other 3rd party hosting sites to get a beta BlackBerry OS.

PS: I wanted to thank all of RIM’s lawyers for the wonderful heartfelt welcome when I signed up for the BlackBerry Beta Zone! There is nothing like 8 pages of legalize to welcome you to a radically different RIM experience. RIM legal was so generous with their time that they even created extra legal riders welcome letters for every beta program you sign up for!

18 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. “We’re sorry, the application form is currently only available in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.”

  2. I can’t believe what Rim has done, just for three countries. What happens with the rest of us? They live in another world.

  3. I like this idea! Just got my email now!

  4. I am thinking that there are some kind of legal procedures rim has to go through to make it available, you guys should give this a try, use your BB to sign up, then select Canada it might work.

  5. Do people seriously think people are going to ditch a platform in droves because of certain countries not being available for a beta sign up?


    • It’s not “just” about the inability to access the upcoming BlackBerry Beta Zone that is causing all this frustration and in some cases, people to change or want to change smartphone operating systems… It’s all about being “left out” REGULARLY.

      All the time Research in Motion (RIM) is launching new products and services, many of which are not available to “key” markets for an extended period of time or in some cases, ever:
      * BlackBerry Maps.
      * Free applications in BlackBerry App World and/or premium (paid) applications in BlackBerry App World.
      * RIM’s eBay client.
      * Alternative housing colors for BlackBerry smartphones.

      And I’m sure if I tried hard enough, I could come-up with AT LEAST a dozen other examples!

      • Which “key” markets?
        BB Maps I never use…
        App World I never use (if you did ever install it you’d understand why – bloated, inaccurate and dysfunctional).
        eBay Client – would be interesting…
        Alternative housing colours is all down to the carrier…

        What are the other 12 valid reasons?

        • 1. “Key” Markets
          “Key” markets being Australia, along with multiple European and Asian markets… Yep that’s right, there ARE countries OUTSIDE of North America and/or Canada with a HIGH BlackBerry penetration rate!

          2. BlackBerry Maps
          With regards to BlackBerry Maps, the fact that you have never used it justifies Research in Motion’s (RIM) choice not to release it here, does it?

          3. BlackBerry App World
          Unlike most people, I quite like BlackBerry App World, particularly after the most recent update… It’s fast, reliable, great to look at easy to use. Perhaps the only justified complaint you with regards to BlackBerry App World, is the fact that it is possibly a little more “bloated” than it needs to be (though the latest version is a fair bit smaller).

          4. Custom Housings
          Most of the time, RIM will release BlackBerry Model X in various colors, and the licenses each color to their partners based on RIM’s own criteria (money, partner customer base, partner value tier, etc…)… Occasionally a service provider will request a custom or specific color, though this is usually at the service provider’s expense (some service providers have LONG-TERM agreements, so that handsets “match” their branding…) and is not very common.

          As for another “12 valid reasons”, I’ve got better things to do than sit here and point-out the obvious…

          But here’s a few to keep you going:
          * Web-based interface for BlackkBerry App World – yep, ONLY the countries with premium (paid) applications get this… Everyone else just gets re-directed to the North American site, which is completely pointless because 99% of that content is not available internationally!
          * Device-based BlackBerry Store (for authentic accessories) – this launched only a week or two ago and unsurprisingly, is ONLY available to North American and Canadian users!
          * Most of RIM’s Web sites feature North American content or exclusively, many despite being listed as “localized”… “My BlackBerry” is the first example that springs to mind.

      • BlackBerry maps, ebay client (which is beta still), alternative housing colors…
        These are not reasons for people to exodus in mass from a platform…

        -Apps like Google Maps, Bing, carrier branded Telenav, etc have more exposure than BBMaps in a lot of areas anyhow.
        -Betas are not likely to be offered in all regions for all products by ANY COMPANY. You can find the same thing on Nokia, or anyone else…
        -Alternative housing colors are a carrier decision on what to offer I am pretty sure, unless you think RIM denied Sprint the 8530 in white, then denied the red version to Tmobile, etc… You might want to take that up with them.

        • Also, carriers can and do block BBMaps anyways with the service books… Again, you might want to take that up with the carriers who are trying to make a buck.

        • “-Betas are not likely to be offered in all regions for all products by ANY COMPANY. You can find the same thing on Nokia, or anyone else…”

          You so did not just claim that beta products, software or services are not usually offered in all regions!

          Let’s see who offers global OR wide-scale betas:
          * Sony ( started as a beta)
          * Google
          * Microsoft (particularly with regards to their “Windows Live” services)
          * Facebook
          * Twitter
          * FourSquare
          * UberTwitter
          * Opera Software (browser and browser-based products only)
          * Mozilla
          * BeeJive
          * WordPress
          * Second Life
          * IMVU
          * BitStream (“Bolt” browser)
          * Amazon (“Kindle” software products)
          * AOL (primarily AOL Instant Messenger)
          * ICQ

          And THAT’s just referring to SOFTWARE and/or WEB SITES! Would you like me to start on HARDWARE?

          • Go for it, make a big list that nobody is reading

          • Hahahaha I fxcking love you dude.
            Thanks for standing up for blackbery users all over australia.
            I too am quite disappointed with the whole america/canada bullshxt. RIM needs to realise there’s a hell of a lot of people in other countries who want to use this kinda thing.

  6. It stated that the BBM 5.0.1 beta would not start til April 1st, 2010 at which those who sign up will receive an email along with a link and activation code. Please be patient.

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