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Research In Motion readies Lotus-enabled wireless pagers

Computerworld
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(IDG) -- Research In Motion (RIM), which makes the widely used BlackBerry line of keyboard-equipped pagers, yesterday introduced new versions of its products that are designed to support enterprise users of Lotus Development Corp.'s Domino and Notes software.

RIM already provides support for wireless users of Microsoft's Exchange e-mail and collaboration software. As part of yesterday's announcement at the Lotusphere 2001 conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., RIM said users of Domino and Notes will now be able to get wireless access to corporate e-mail systems and databases through a new handheld called BlackBerry Enterprise Edition for Lotus Domino.

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Mike Lazardis, RIM's president and co-CEO, said in a statement that the addition of Domino and Notes support should make it possible for "the large majority of enterprise customers in North America" to install BlackBerry devices. RIM and Lotus also announced that they plan to jointly develop mobile and wireless communications technology.

Shipments of the Lotus-enabled pagers are scheduled to start next month, with prices starting at $399 for each one plus $2,999 for a 20-user BlackBerry server. Users also have to pay a flat-rate monthly service fee of $39.99, according to RIM.

Lotus parent IBM and Motient Inc., which operates a nationwide packet data network targeted at corporate users, last March signed an e-business application development deal that includes providing Notes access to RIM pagers. And in a similar, but larger, deal, IBM and Palm said in November that they plan to work together to develop mobile business applications for users of Palm's handheld devices.

Elliott Hamilton, an analyst at The Strategis Group in Washington, said all these deals indicate that the market for wireless business applications is starting to attract "a lot more attention than the wireless consumer marketplace" is from technology vendors.




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