Microsoft and RIM set to launch free MobileMe style service for BlackBerrys

It seems likely that Microsoft and RIM are about to unveil a new free-hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES). The idea behind the service is to make it as easy to use as Apple’s MobileMe system, but be designed for business users.

According to ZDNet the service will be available to BlackBerry’s business customers who are using Microsoft’s hosted email service, Exchange 2010 Online.

At the moment, Exchange users can make use of a Microsoft-hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Service for $10 a month, but the idea is to replace this service with the new free option. Although this may only be aimed at existing users, as no details have emerged if the same will be done for new BlackBerry users.

“RIM is the only mobile OS that doesn’t use (Microsoft) ActiveSync-aware devices and has a separate device management platform - the BES environment” said the ZDNet source.

Currently the software allows wireless access to email, calendar, tasks and contacts, while also allowing users the option to remotely wipe and reset their BlackBerry handsets. At the moment there are no details as to whether the new updated version of the service will contain any additional features.

ZDNet also mentioned that RIM is due to hold a “Blackberry for Business” webcast tomorrow, where they will announce new and additional cloud services for BlackBerry devices, so the Microsoft/RIM service could well be unveiled then.

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