BlackBerry Says It’s Still Alive, Adds More iOS & Android Support to BES

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BlackBerry would like you to know (again) that it isn’t dead.

Despite seeming like it would fade into irrelevancy once and for all earlier this year, BlackBerry is still kicking, technically, thanks to a $1 billion investment from investor Fairfax Financial Holdings. And today, interim CEO John Chen issued an open letter proclaiming confidence in the Canadian firm’s future, calling Fairfax’s cash infusion a “vote of confidence in the future of BlackBerry.”

The “we’re still here” message is a battle cry that’s been repeated by BlackBerry numerous times of late, and given the disastrous results of its BlackBerry 10 OS this past year, it’s easy to be skeptical of any professions of renewed confidence from the company. Chen’s letter may give the BlackBerry faithful some semblance of hope, though, as it notes that the firm will be taking a more focused course of action from now on, with an emphasis on its enterprise ventures.

‘Reports of Our Death Are Greatly Exaggerated’

We’re going back to our heritage and roots — delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions,” writes Chen. “As we refocus back to our roots, BlackBerry will target four areas: handsets, EMM solutions, cross-platform messaging, and embedded systems. And, just as important, we will continue to invest in enterprise and security related R&D during our restructuring period.

“In short, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.”

In other words, don’t expect BlackBerry to put too much stock in another PlayBook or Z10 anytime soon. Instead, expect to see more focus on things like BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, the company’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, which was updated to version 10.2 alongside the open letter today.

BlackBerry says the newest version of BES 10 is keen on expanded multi-platform support, meaning that its software will function just as well on Android and iOS devices as it does on BlackBerry ones. The company recently took its popular BlackBerry Messenger app cross-platform, with new apps for both Android and iOS. So the attempt to make BES 10 a more widespread service may indicate where BlackBerry’s future will lie going forward.

Whether or not moves like this will mark the beginning of a mini-revival for BlackBerry remain to be seen, The company says that corporations such as Boeing and Morgan Stanley are taking part in early beta programs for BES 10.2. But for now, there seems to be at least some gas left in its tank.

Source: BlackBerry (1), (2)


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