RIM Pushes BlackBerry BIS 3.0 Upgrade Live

RIM has confirmed a the BlackBerry outage that some experienced over the weekend was in fact the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) 3.0 upgrade going live in real time. The headlining act is better Gmail integration, but here are deeper details.

BIS 3.0 adds a bunch of features that your customers could find handy. Here’s a short-and-sweet list, courtesy of Gizmodo:

  • Additional language support for Basque, Catalan, Galician, Romanian
  • Increased attachment compatibility for OpenDocument presentations (.odp), OpenDocument spreadsheets (.ods),
  • OpenDocument text (.odt), OpenDocument text templates (.ott), Windows Media® Audio (.wma)
  • Improved email setup flow for HTML access that will allow BlackBerry uses to "reclaim their email address if their BlackBerry Internet Service account is ever deleted."
  • xHTML Support for non-Thick Clients (allows for the use of buttons, additional fonts and color controls when users access and toggle their user settings)
  • Device switch revalidation
  • Hosted email address passwords
That enhanced Gmail functionality -- a matter very near and near to my Google-monitored heart -- includes synchronizing unread message status between BlackBerry and web, which is all I’ve ever wanted from the device. Unfortunately, it’s not going to roll out everywhere simultaneously, and will instead be rolled out by region.

The new features are nice, to be sure. But I’m left wondering if it addresses the problems MSPs and other IT pros had with RIM’s service that were raised when they announced a free version of their own BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) - and that doesn’t even take into account the fact that HyperOffice is trying to eat RIM’s lunch with HyperSynch.

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