RIM Shows Off WebKit Browser For BlackBerry

RIM's BlackBerry line of smartphones has been popular among business users for years, but if there's one complaint many users have it's that the Web browser is lagging in functionality in comparison to the full-fledged browsers available on other smartphones such as the iPhone. Now, we're beginning to see hope that a new browser for the BlackBerry platform will be coming soon.

Ever since RIM purchased Torch Mobile in August of 2009, many people suspected that a WebKit-powered BlackBerry browser was in the works. Although RIM hasn't specified when the new browser will be available, it is showing off its new, faster, and smoother WebKit-powered browser at Mobile World Congress this week. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis described some of the benefits of the new browser: "You’ll see how fast it downloads, how quickly it renders and how smooth it scrolls and zooms in."

In addition to touting a new browser, RIM also announced a free platform for small and mid-sized businesses named BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. Designed for businesses who want the enterprise-grade security and manageability of BlackBerry Enterprise Server but don’t need all of its advanced features, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express will be provided free of charge.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express works with Microsoft Exchange 2010, 2007, and 2003 and Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 and 2003. It will provide users with secure, push-based, wireless access to email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks, as well as other business applications and enterprise systems behind the firewall. The new server software utilizes the same security architecture found in BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

IT administrators will appreciate that the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express also offers the following:
  • Runs on the same physical or virtual server as the Microsoft mail server or on its own server. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is also certified for use with VMware ESX
  • Over 35 IT controls and policies, including the ability to remotely wipe a smartphone and enforce and reset passwords
  • A Web-based interface that allows remote administration and makes it easy to install the software, connect BlackBerry smartphones and apply usage policies
BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express will be available as a free download in March. For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/besexpress.