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BlackBerry World 2011: RIM allows IT departments to split corporate and personal data

Research in Motion (RIM) has unveiled software to split personal and corporate data on its BlackBerry devices.

At the 2011 BlackBerry World conference, RIM introduced BlackBerry Balance, which allows IT departments to control and secure business e-mail data via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) while also enabling personal use of company-owned BlackBerry smartphones.

"BlackBerry Balance presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure. The division between work and personal content is transparent to the user unless they try to perform actions prohibited by company policy," said Jim Tobin, senior vice-president, software and services at RIM.

BlackBerry Balance is also integrated with RIM's updated operating system (OS), BlackBerry OS 7. The new version, which was showcased at BlackBerry World, includes voice-activated searching as well as support for HTML5 in the web browser.

Other RIM announcements included new BlackBerry Bold smartphones and the BlackBerry multi-platform management for mobile devices.

"IT administrators will be able to manage devices over-the-air, including activating devices, distributing software and applications, locking or wiping devices, enforcing and resetting device passwords, setting IT policies, and managing optional mobile applications for users," said Peter Devenyi, vice-president of the communications platform group at RIM.

Similar to Apple's FaceTime on its iPad tablet device, video chat will now also be available on RIM's tablet, the BlackBerry Playbook, and will be included in the next software update.

The new touchscreen BlackBerry Bold smartphones 9900 (pictured) and 9930 have built-in near field communications (NFC) support and magnetometer for location-based and augmented reality services.

The new smartphones are expected to be available from July 2011.


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