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giesen 04-19-2005 11:05 AM

[2005-04-19] RIM, Microsoft in BlackBerry deal
WATERLOO Canada's Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX: RIM) is teaming up with heavyweights Microsoft and IBM to bolster its BlackBerry e-mail device services.

RIM announced Tuesday a product collaboration and marketing agreement to extend instant messaging and presence to BlackBerry subscribers through Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm also said it is working with IBM Corp. to enable IBM Lotus instant messaging on the BlackBerry platform.

"Enterprise customers around the world have chosen BlackBerry for its ability to keep employees connected to timely communications and information," Jim Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion, said in a release.

"Together with Microsoft, we are extending the benefits of Live Communications Server to mobile BlackBerry users and enhancing personal and workgroup communications."

Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice0president for the real-time collaboration group at Microsoft, said: " We are excited about expanding our vibrant developer partner ecosystem to include providers of rich mobile solutions, like BlackBerry, to further extend and enhance the Live Communications experience."

And Ken Bisconti, IBM's VP for workplace, portal and collaboration products, said in a separate release that Lotus instant messaging for BlackBerry is expected to be available later this year.

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