Friday, August 24, 2007

RIM makes a move that involves software, not a new device


It's called "Blackberry Home Server" and it seeks to give you access to files that you store at RIMs network operations center (NOC).  The user installs software on their computer and that software allows the user to access a file storage area set up at RIMs NOC -- think about being able to load up MP3s at home and access them via a server sync on your Blackberry and you'll begin to get the picture.

Although details are not complete, there are a few things that I want to comment on:

  • Software client required.  Really?  Just make it web-accessible and license or copy's little Java applet that lets you drag and drop files onto the server.

  • Storage space.  I'm guessing there's a cap and, therefore, probably a revenue model in there for buying additional storage.  Hopefully RIM will offer 1GB or more for free, but there's no mention made of storage size (yet).

  • Hooks into online PIMs.  Imagine if you could configure the RIM service to sync your contacts with Gmail and your calendar with Gcal over the air in real time, just like Blackberry Enterprise Server does with Exchange.  If you were an Outlook user, have the RIM service link up with Plaxo to sync everything in real time.  I suppose that RIM could develop a proprietary service, but I'm guessing that if they did an exclusive deal with Google or Yahoo!, the exclusive service would see a measurable jump in users and would be amazing functionality to products like Google Apps.  Note that nowhere does it say the RIM service won't support this, so it's entirely possible this functionality will exist out of the box.

I was going to post a screen grab that's been floating around with stories about Blackberry Home Server, but I looked at it hard and it's got a Roxio logo, so unless Roxio built this for RIM, I'm guessing that the screen grab is plain wrong.

Oh, and how long do you think it will take Apple to get .Mac fired up to perform similar functionality for the iPhone?

Link -- Globe and Mail

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