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BIS 3.0 Upgrade Successful with OpenDocument Support

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The BIS 3.0 upgrade went through over the weekend, and while we won’t see Gmail sync until the Spring, it’s good to be at 3.0. There really isn’t anything outstanding that comes with BIS 3.0, however the additional attachment support is nice.

With BIS 3.0, your BlackBerry now supports the following: OpenDocument presentations (.odp), OpenDocument spreadsheets (.ods), OpenDocument text (.odt), OpenDocument text templates (.ott) and Windows Media Audio (.wma).

For a full list of features that come with the BIS 3.0 upgrade, check out RIM’s knowledgebase article.

BIS 3.0 Upgrade Scheduled for EMEA March 14th

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It looks like Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are getting the BIS 3.0 upgrade this weekend. This is a highly anticipated BIS upgrade because it will bring 2-way Gmail sync, which I’m personally elated about. The update is expected to arrive during a scheduled maintenance for March 14th. Details below:

Maintenance Summary: BlackBerry Internet Service v2.8 upgrade to BlackBerry Internet Service v3.0

Impact: BlackBerry Internet Service subscribers may be unable to send or receive messages, use the BlackBerry Internet Service web site, or perform activities such as creating new accounts, accessing their Internet mailbox, integrating third-party email accounts, or viewing email attachments during the maintenance.

Wireless service providers and device resellers may be unable to use BlackBerry administration web sites or perform activities such as creating subscriber accounts or provisioning services for subscribers during the maintenance. [0214]

Ticket Number: BBCHG45911
Change Window Start Date and Time: 14 March 2010 02:00:00 (GMT)
Change Window End Date and Time: 14 March 2010 06:00:00 (GMT)
Estimated Duration of Service Impact: 4 hour(s) and 0 minute(s)
% of Subscribers Affected: 100.00 (estimated)

We’ve heard rumors that this update will be coming to North America at the end of the month, and my fingers are crossed that this rumor is true.

BES Express Conference Call

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BESX

Research in Motion held a conference call today to go over the details on it’s new service: BES Express.

The call told the story about how the new service came to be and shared some insight as to who they think can benefit from it.

From the millions of new BIS subscribers yearly, many consumer BlackBerry users are naturally bringing their devices into the workplace. BES Express is a way in which small and medium-sized businesses can sync email and calendar events when getting a full BES license is not in the cards. This new flavor of BES bridges the gap between BIS and BES allowing these businesses to use their devices to their fullest.

RIM’s Big BESX Announcement at MWC Details Leaked

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rim-blackberry-logo

There have been a lot of rumors circulating about RIM’s big announcement and most of them point to RIM offering an inexpensive and watered down version of BES to BIS customers. The upcoming services will be aimed at giving out some of the enterprise functionality such as OTA sync, backup and restore and well as remote data wipe. Click through for the rumored details of the announcement.
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BIS 3.0 and 3.1 to Feature Better Google Sync and WMA Support

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A diagram of BIS operation

BBleaks threw up some more details about BIS 3.0 and I’m personally really looking forward to this. The latest info about BIS 3.0, tells us we’ll see:

  • OpenOffice file support: presentations, text documents and spreadsheets.
  • Support for WMA (Windows Media Audio).

Previously, we heard BIS 3.0, coming in March of 2010, will improve the Gmail plugin so as to sync deleted, read/unread and sent messages between the messages folder and your Gmail. BIS 3.0 will also include the ability to add and remove labels from your device.

BIS 3.1, which is rumored to arrive soon after, will feature the ability to:

  • Synchronize Google Calendar
  • Synchronize your address book from Hotmail account
  • Synchronize your address book from Yahoo
  • Yahoo mailbox will cause an automatic download of Yahoo messenger on the device

New Report Focuses on the Secureness of BlackBerrys on BIS

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blackberry_security_options

SMobile’s Global Threat Center (GTC) has released a research study on proof of concept malicious applications that could potentially infect the BlackBerry platform. The paper concludes that there are certain instances of attacks that may be successful in bypassing BlackBerry’s security framework, and poses a significant risk to the confidentiality of the user. Since SMobile Security is in the business of creating anti-virus protection for mobile, it’s obviously in their best interests to release a report exposing “significant risks”, but nonethless they may be on to something.

The report was created using a Proof-of-Concept malicious application that focuses specifically on a BlackBerry using the BIS network. These BlackBerrys run on a weakened security platform when compared to the BES, and are primarily protected using a permissions accepted or denied by the user. Some of the questions this report brings to mind are: is the increasing number of BIS subscribers, going to affect the overall security of the BlackBerry platform? What will a primarily BIS customer base do to the reputation of BlackBerry as the most secure platform? Are permissions enough to protect a user who is new to smartphones, and may not know the harm a malicious application can cause?

Download the full report here.