Microsoft and RIM Sign Pact for IM and Presence

Microsoft and Research In Motion have announced an agreement to provide enterprise instant messaging and presence to BlackBerry subscribers based on Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Enterprises are using Live Communications Server to deploy IM and presence capabilities across their networks and through federated connections with other organizations running Live Communications Server.

Live Communications Server provides a platform for the development of custom real-time communications solutions across PC networks, desktop phone systems and mobile devices and is based on Session Initiation Protocol and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions standards.

The combined Microsoft-RIM solution extends rich Live Communications Server features to mobile professionals using BlackBerry, enabling them to transmit instant messages and share presence-based information with co-workers and customers while they are away from the office.

"Instant messaging and presence are playing an increasingly important role in helping information workers stay in touch with critical business contacts and make better decisions, faster," says Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for the Real-Time Collaboration Group at Microsoft. "Extending these valuable communications tools from the desktop with Microsoft Office Communicator to mobile devices like BlackBerry, is a core element of our vision for integrated communications, which aims to unify communications across PCs, phones and mobile devices so people can communicate and collaborate more effectively and efficiently."

RIM is working to develop a Live Communications Server Client for BlackBerry that provides security-enhanced Live Communications Server IM connectivity between mobile BlackBerry users and their Live Communications Server enterprise deployments. Microsoft and RIM plan to extend the benefits of Live Communications Server to the many companies and government organizations using BlackBerry, the two companies say.

RIM says it expects to have a trial product available in September 2005 and deliver it by the end of the year.