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RIM Demo the Upcoming WebKit BlackBerry Browser

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RIM have put up video demoing the WebKit browser that we’re expecting later this year and it looks really awesome so far. Mike Lazaridis was showing it off at MWC and it handles pages very smoothly. AJAX and JavaScripts run nicely in the browser and it scores a 100/100 on the ACID3 compliance test. The upcoming browser will support HTML 5, CSS3, DOM L3, Widgets and JIL Widgets. I can’t wait until this browser gets leaked so we can try it out for ourselves.

RIM Introduces BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

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BES express

RIM launched the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express today, a free service that lets users wirelessly and securely sync their BlackBerry with Microsoft Exchange or MS Windows Small Business Server. This new offering is targeted at SMBs that want a slightly watered down version of BES. The press release says it is also targeted to consumers, but I’m having a hard time understanding what consumers will be able to take advantage of this.

There are millions of new BIS customers using BlackBerrys but they don’t have servers to install any of this software. I’m not sure why RIM thinks this is going to benefit them. On the other hand, I do think this is a great announcement for SMBs that don’t have enough employees to merit a full BES purchase and still want the basic functionality.

Features include:

  • Wirelessly synchronize their email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks.
  • Manage email folders and search email on the mail server remotely.
  • Book meetings and appointments, check availability and forward calendar attachments.
  • Set an out-of-office reply.
  • Edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files using Documents To Go.
  • Access files stored on the company network.
  • Use mobile applications to access business systems behind the firewall.

Lets hope RIM does something to address the purely consumer side with something like this.

Press release.

Look out for BES Express in March.

RIM wins “Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough” for SurePress

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Although the SurePress technology has gotten some bad feedback in the blogosphere, you have to admit that it is a unique solution to touchscreen typing. This past Tuesday at the Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, RIM’s SurePress won Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough. Some in the blogosphere are saying that RIM won because it is such a big sponsor and the cash bought it the award. I say: “tell me what should have won then.”

Apple app store? Old news.
LBS apps? Too broad to give to one company.
Android? The apps haven’t blown me away or anything.

[Via]

Are conferences economically viable during recession?

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The following is a letter to BlackBerryCool:

Dear BBCool,

My company did not send me to Mobile World Congress this year because it was not in our budget. This seems to be the case with many of our clients and I was hoping your site could shed some light on the subject.

What usually happens in these times is tradeshow budgets are the first to go except that a lot of the big companies have already purchased their show spaces some years in advance. This is a comment from one of our clients over there:

The show doesn’t seem to have as much content as I’d expected. Although, one of the booths had a classic booth girl.

The show seems to have fewer attendees. I’d say there are 20% to 30% fewer attendees. It seems the economy has had a real impact on the conference.

If above says 20 – 30%, I’d say more likely 40 – 50% smaller. People under exaggerate in that scenario (hope). Thanks BlackBerryCool!

Editor’s Note: So let’s tackle this subject as a community. Here are some things I’d like to discuss:

Has your company cut back on conference attendance? If so, why?
Are conferences integral to your business?
What can a conference do to make itself a more of a viable expense?