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We have exciting news for Microsoft Online Services customers. We are in the process of updating pricing for Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online to make this service available free of charge. Starting today, BlackBerry mobile e-mail for new Exchange Online customers is now free through our Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). For existing customers, we expect to be able to provide more information later this month on how you can take advantage of this change.
In addition, this free hosted BlackBerry service from RIM, called BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, will be available for free to Office 365 customers after the RIM service launches later this year.
Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) will introduce a new BlackBerry cloud-based service later this year. The service will be hosted, licensed and supported by RIM who have committed to offer their new BlackBerry cloud based service for Exchange Online starting at $0 per user per month.
This is a good deal for customers. We want people to have the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser, and this agreement shows our commitment in action. Here are just a few benefits this new service model will bring to customers:
The Hosted BlackBerry for Exchange Online service is free; we're cutting the price for new and renewing BPOS customers to $0 starting now. So, with the cost of your regular wireless bill, connecting your phone to BPOS or Office 365 will be free - whether you have a Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia E Series or any other phone with Exchange ActiveSync.
RIM's BlackBerry cloud based service will provide more of the latest BES capabilities to Microsoft Online Services customers. For example, administrators will be able to create and manage more device policies, change device passwords and settings, and search across large numbers of BlackBerry users at one time. And, BlackBerry users will have access to self-service functions to manage and secure their own BlackBerry devices online.
In addition, we are confident that this approach will give Microsoft Online Services customers the best BlackBerry service possible directly from the company responsible for BlackBerry technology.
As we launch these services, customers can be assured we'll continue to deliver a holistic experience - from service to support to the admin console. To get BlackBerry cloud based service in the future with Office 365, customers will be able to simply indicate their service need in the Microsoft portal, and a seamless single sign on to our partner's portal will provide access to manage their devices.
BlackBerry service will be available with Office 365 for enterprises with our multi-tenant service. Because of the unique requirements of customers using dedicated infrastructure, we will continue to provide hosted BlackBerry service for them in the future.
We look forward to working with RIM and to delivering a great, free service with more functionality to Office 365 customers.
-Allen, Office 365 Product Manager
Is the same offer valid if you just purchase microsoft exchange on-line ?
COmo ya es publico community.office365.com/.../archive
Will this free bes also work with live@edu users?
What shall happen in intrim? Are we continuing with $10 user/month subscription in O365? Can customer work with his on-premise BES server? Is there a work around for customer planning to go on O365 the day it is release or early adaptors. Sadly it is not addressed in the blog. Please clarify as field needs to communicate to customer and avoid delays. Telling customer that O365 will not support BES till "later in the year" is bound to delay the order.
Hey Allen--more great news. Bet you can guess my question...sorry to be such a pest. :) Will this be part of Live@Edu? If it is, I guess it would be free for students. But will it also be free for faculty phones as well?
Blackberry Express has been free from RIM for a long time now. The only cost is the server you run it on and the cost your mobile carrier may charge you for a data plan that connects to BES. That varies from carrier to carrier.
Maybe their is another carrier that charges a lower price or no additional cost to connect?
@Joseph: Thanks now I understand! In Germany a lot of people only write in their Blog Blackberry Service is free and difference not that contact and calender is in BES.
@Charlie: Thanks for your information. I don´t know how the providers in Germany handle this. But I hope the Telecom will do a better job. Important for me is, that I will ask our customer with which service provider they work.
Great news and will help us get more customers on board. Complains are always too expensive for the functionality BB users get from Exchange.
Great info. :)
Saying Blackberry services are now free needs further investigation to understand what you are now getting for free.
To have full integration of email, calendar and contacts usually requires the Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES) which requires both a server-side licence and a handset licence.
I believe what Microsoft are now giving you is the server-side component of BES for free, you still have to pay for the BES handset licence, typically in the form of a BES service charge. In the UK this is around £30 or $50 a month, in addition to your handset's calls and data tariff, so not much change from £60 or $100 a month.....
People suggest that the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) is a free alternative. BIS is a consumer email send and receive service which does not support folders, contacts or calendars. It is typically not a business grade solution, however it meets the market requirements of consumers who just want email.
For very small businesses Blackberry have attempted to solve this problem by introducing Blackberry Enterprise Server Express (BES Express). This gives most of the functionality of BES but only requires a BIS grade handset service, significantly lowering the overall cost. However, I don't believe this is what Microsoft are including with BPOS.
It would be worth Microsoft clarifying what they are giving away for free, and what additional handset service charges users should expect to have to pay to use their free service. It maybe Microsoft has released a technical solution which no one has ever done before.....?
@PankajP: As it states above, current BPOS customer move to free imediately. I think you are confused with the pricing options, this has nothing to do with the price of Office 365, which does not change at all. As for delivery, as soon as RIM finishes the new cloud services and completes the integration with our engineers, we will provide it to you.
@Soundguy: Live@edu remains unchanged, it is free today. You can only connect BlackBerry through POP/IMAP protocols, will be available with Office 365 for education when it is available
@Allen: Thanks for the response. So it be available for free with Office 365 for Education when that product comes online? I'm asking because our mobile contracts are up for renewal and we can get free Blackberry phones with a renewal. Also, one of our new employees is bringing in a Blackberry this summer. I'm just wondering whether the Office 365 for Education will support Blackberry for both students and staff using the same free service made available to other customer classes.
It looks as though RIM has removed a huge barrier to entry to deploying the BES Express in organizations. Up to now in order to take full advantage of the BES experience you needed to pay your carrier an additional $10-15 per month for a BES Data Plan. The "BES Tax" gave you a service book on your device which allows for over the air activation. BES Express has been very popular with the corporate world because of this $0 price tag. However activating devices on a carrier BIS plan can be a headache.
If you're unfamiliar with this process, to activate a new BlackBerry on the company BES you would just need to ask your BES Admin for an activation password. Once he assigned you the password, go to your BlackBerry under Advanced Options there would be an option called "Enterprise Activation", type in your email address and the assigned password and click Activate. After a short period of time your device is fully provisioned on the BES all without connecting to any desktop software.
BUT if you were not paying your carrier's BES Tax this Enterprise Activation option was never pushed down to your device via Service Books so Desktop Manager was your only option for activating your new BlackBerry.
Today thanks to RIM BES Express users now live BES Tax-free. They've put a new App in BlackBerry App World which gives you an Enterprise Activation option on your BlackBerry with a BIS data plan.
According to RIM's technical document pre-requites are:
Verify that your organization uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express 5.0 SP1 or later
Verify that the BlackBerry device is running BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 or later
Verify that the BlackBerry device user has a personal Internet-enabled BlackBerry plan
Supported BlackBerry models:
No real suprises with supported device list (except 9780 noticeably missing) your device must be running BB OS 5.0+. So if you're still rock'n a BlackBerry 8700 with the side scroll wheel you'll need to continue activating via Desktop Manager.
The Enterprise Activation app can be founde here
Does anyone know if the Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online will be free forever since now? A Microsoft agent told me that they only can maintain this price till 30 June, so... what will happen later?
Thanks in advance
@Adolfo: The information you received is incorrect. Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online is free and will remain free for BPOS customers, and will be free when available in Office 365.
@soundguy: Yes, BES support will be a part of the Office 365 for education offer when it becomes available. As for your other ?, can you email me at Office365@microsoft.com?
@ResponsetoCharlie: Thanks for the assistance answering these questions. You've been a great help.
I initially thought the $0 BES was a Microsoft move, which I thought was an attempt to shoot itself in the foot because that extra expense for BBs usually drive customers away from them and onto WP7 or other devices, not to speak of their stale BB mobile OS. As I have read elsewhere, the new price of $0 for BES is a move by RIM to save their eroding Blackberry market, given that they were not smart enough, like MS, to restart redeveloping their mobile OS years ago. I would expect more of a similar move in licensing cost direct to businesses. They are fighting a losing war. In any case, I guess its a win-win for Office365 whatever device customers choose.