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Blackberry Businesses Cellphones

BlackBerry To Allow Rivals To Manage Its Smartphones 43

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the source-code-and-we'll-talk dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "BlackBerry broke its longstanding business model recently by announcing that its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 management platform would be able to manage not just BlackBerry devices, but Android and iOS gadgets as well. Now, in a new announcement, the company is also exploring the flipside of that coin, allowing software from other companies to manage BlackBerry phones. The moves acknowledge a world in which fewer and fewer people are interested in a vertical BlackBerry solution — but also seem to kill the last things that make BlackBerry special."
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BlackBerry To Allow Rivals To Manage Its Smartphones

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  • the BES or Blackberry Enterprise Server has been a piece of shit for as long as I can remember. I still have battle scars from managing it as it mangled inboxes and refused to connect to basics like exchange. They changed cryptography keys on it without notifying anyone and sometimes stopped supporting a legacy device entirely without any advanced notice. Third party companies that write their own management system might gain some traction for corporate offices that are sick to death of having to put up

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:01AM (#46999207)

      BES was always finicky, but generally issues I recall seeing tended to be self inflicted. Im not sure what you mean by "they changed cryptography keys"-- the entire point of the BES is that the company alone holds the per-device keys, and if they change its because someone did something with their profile.

      Calling BES awful when there basically werent any viable competitors for ~10 years is a bit ridiculous. Sure there was activesync, but that was even more finicky and screwed up, and until recently (last ~5 years) anything else was just a nightmare to manage. Anyone ever have the joy of trying to get an iPhone 3 hooked up to a server with a self-signed cert?

      • by ArhcAngel (247594)
        Comparing BES to ActiveSync (EAS) [wikipedia.org] is like comparing Exchange to IIS. While BlackBerry's bread and butter was its push email functionality the things you could do with a BlackBerry connected to a BES were impressive even by today's standards. Because of BlackBerry's end to end encryption a BB phone connected to a BES is always connected to the corporate network just like any PC sitting in your office. Meaning if I left an important file on the computer at the office I could connect to it from my phone and op
  • Death throes .. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:27AM (#46998961) Homepage

    RIM/BlackBerry has been in decline for years.

    The stuff they played a role in pioneering are now pretty much commodities. They rested on their laurels for way too long, and eventually got lapped by the rest of the market. Apple and Android have huge market shares compared to what BlackBerry still has.

    They've been laying off people, closing buildings, and putting out products hardly anybody buys, and they've been saddled with ineffective management for years.

    They're well on their way to becoming a footnote. Their founders all got rich and moved on.

    What we're watching is the dying days of a once cool company.

    Sad to see them go, but this is largely a mess of their own creation, even if they don't realize it.

    I know people who owned their PlayBook tablet -- and, quite frankly, they were crap. There was nothing in the store, their Android support was a joke, and then they stopped giving updates for it. I'm betting most of the people who ever owned that tablet wouldn't ever own another product from them.

    • by Rigel47 (2991727)
      Thanks for regurgitating everything that has gone wrong. It's easy and popular these days to prognosticate that BlackBerry is doomed because stock price, market share, bad press, blah blah. Unfortunately for your ilk BlackBerry is under new management and is executing a number of moves that are different from anything in the past.

      Partnering with Foxconn, introducing the Z3, the device management moves described here, BBM on all platforms, etc, are just a few.

      BlackBerry remains unrivalled in device secur
      • by mlts (1038732)

        Blackberries excel in the security arena. While someone puts an iPhone on airplane mode and runs off with it, a Blackberry can be set to erase itself if it doesn't get a network connection in a certain time interval. No other platform offers this assurance.

        Blackberries also used their own servers. Servers secure enough that countries demanded RIM give them access or else kick them out of the country. No wayward CAs, no bogus certs... it may not be perfect, but BIS is/was a secure way of doing mail.

        BES,

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The thing is, the smartphone market is now mature. Blackberry are small fish in a big pond.

        I worked in an establishment where all the senior managers had Blackberries. They couldn't connect them to Exchange email accounts, so when the time came, all the senior managers switched to iPhones which worked out of the box. Over time, they got used to and started to like the whole Android and iOS ecosystem. I know man other organizations went through the same process (perhaps switching to Android instead, or Windo

        • My Blackberry has been connected to exchange for a few years and there have been zero issues with it since OS 10. Calendars, e-mail, etc. all sync perfectly. As for being irrelevant... even you who think so are still talking about them. They are not the biggest players in the game any more it's true, but all major companies go through ups and downs. Some users abandon them in an instant and others give them the slack they need to deliver good products again. (Apple is not exempt from this path either.) Si
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Pretty much. wife's iphone has issues with email sync, my andriod has issues with gmail spying. The work BB? It just works. It does only what it's supposed to do; encrypted email, BBM and reading word/ppt/pdf documents. I agree, it's shit for anything else, but I'm not doing anything else on the work phone. It's good for security, and that's why I got stuck with it? Would I use one for my personal phone? Hell no. However, that's not the market or the point of it. We had one get stolen in china last month, m

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Certainly it's true that BB could still be doomed but commentary like yours is essentially the chatter of the Monday morning quarterback.

        I remember when RIM was a smallish company operating mostly out of one office. I remember watching RIM soar and become huge. And I've spent several years watching them decline, the founders leave, and management floundering. I've known several people who worked there over the years.

        Do I claim to be Warren Buffet and know exactly what will happen to them? Of course not.

    • by tapi0 (2805569)
      Plenty in the store, obviously since the decline there's little of the newer bigger apps like Netflix etc. but I'm one who owns a couple along with family and friends who are more than happy. Build quality, screen, audio and OS features were way ahead many of the contemporary tablets and mine's still going strong. There were a few of us waiting for the BB10 phones and it was those that turned us away from BB, not the playbook. If there were an updated 10" playbook released today I'd definitely consider it,
    • by johneee (626549)

      The PlayBook fiasco made me sad because it was so good. OS is way better even now than Android on the same size hardware, and the PB hardware was great, if a little unexciting.

      Everything you say about the store and Android and support is correct. Which meant that the platform as a whole is useless except for limited situations (we still use ours for reading ebooks and browsing, but that's about it) but the gizmo itself was anything but crap.

    • I agree they may be loosing the one thing that made them special but again did it make them special or just put them further behind. They are one of the worse run companies in tech today. Technology just passed them by the lack of app support really hurt them more then anything.
  • Why would allowing others to use the APIs, rather than keeping them super-secret as a rent extraction strategy, 'kill' their specialness?

    Presumably the same management options as before will still exist, you'll just be able to use other software to actually set those options, should it please you. If the actual security of the management process depended on the APIs being secret than it was horribly broken long ago (reverse-engineering a proprietary system well enough to build a competing application is
  • License the keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:35AM (#46999017) Journal

    That might produce some additional revenue. They're suing the makers of a look a like solution for the iphone. Why not just take a cut of everyone that wants to do it, and help them do it as well? It might revitalize physical keyboard handsets.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:36AM (#46999023)

    but also seem to kill the last things that make BlackBerry special.

    You think the competing management platforms driven to be as generic as possible and manage multiple vendors' phones will be "better" at managing BB devices, than their own product?

    I see a few ways this may not hurt BB... (1) It makes their smartphones more attractive, if they will be compatible with customers' existing management solution.

    (2) Potential licensing fees from developers of management software for access to SDKs and advanced APIs.

    and (3) They may still provide superior manageability/functionality for their own management platform, by using undocumented APIs, or by introducing new APIs to their devices and management platform simultaneously --- so they always leverage new management and security features first..

  • BB is done. Some of their new products are interesting but BB has been irrelevant for too long. At one time they made the best smartphone on the market, certainly the most secure. Then they got fat and lazy and Apple and Android sped past them.

    I had one of the older BB phones with the small screen and physical keyboard. Loved it. Great battery life, good call quality, secure. But no apps to speak of. Poor quality handsets (I know a lot of people that had to return them due to hardware failures). Then I got

  • "...but also seem to kill the last things that make BlackBerry special."

    Shouldn't that be made Blackberry special? I mean, I loved my old crackberry as much as the next geek back-in-the-day... but pretty nearly everyone has moved on, at this point.

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