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Microsoft Branches Out to BlackBerry
Microsoft does not have a reputation that is known for sharing its products and applications with outside companies and users; in fact they are more known for hoarding, or trying to anyways, everything that they own and in some cases even applications and devices they don't. Hopefully this is the fruition of a greater understanding that Microsoft is finally arriving upon.
Whether you are a Blackberry user, or Windows Mobile device user it does not matter for the most part because each device does the same thing just through different applications and context; and each device has unique features that the other does not. Reviews usually shoot left and right trying to pinpoint which type of device is better; which makes no sense because they both have their own set of pros and cons. When it boils down to the nitty gritty the choice between the two is usually made due to preference, or how a user plans to utilize their device. Microsoft has obviously figured out that Blackberry does have a large user base that prefers BlackBerries over Windows Mobile devices and instead of trying to crush the competition for once they have decided to release a port of their applications and software for the BlackBerry community.
Now, thanks to Microsoft, it is possible for BlackBerry users to install Window Live for mobile on their device and use the Microsoft applications on the go. However this leaves just one question that comes to mind; how do the applications compare to BlackBerry's own apps?
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Why Choose Windows Live?
Windows Live for the Blackberry provides two applications; Windows Live Hotmail, and Windows Live Messenger. The problem with this is that there are plenty of instant message applications already available, as well as Blackberry's own built in email browser so why would a user choose Windows Live over any other applications. The answer is simple; however not quite as defining as one would think. The only reason a Blackberry user would have to install Windows Live on their device is if they in fact are the rightful owner of a Hotmail, or Windows Live account. There are, not surprisingly, very few applications and programs that allow you to check your MSN related accounts that aren't branded by Microsoft. So, for those users who juggle between an MSN email account and a few others the Windows Live application allows you to now do everything on one device.
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What Does Windows Live Bring to the Table?
Windows Live Hotmail for mobile allows you to compose, send, forward and reply to emails directly on your BlackBerry device. It also allows users to view graphics within emails, various web links, and contact photos. There is also a neat feature to create an email inbox on your BlackBerry that is specifically for Hotmail messages; so that you don't necessarily have to be logged into the application to read emails. It has all been ported very well and re-designed to fit onto a mobile screen; meaning all the menus and controls require no serious scrolling to reach. This is always a plus, and keeps the email browsing time to a minimum.
Windows Live Messenger for mobile allows Blackberry users to stay in touch with their Windows Live contacts on the go. This particular application allows users to send instant messages and join chat sessions, keep track of which contacts are online and which are off, and send and receive pictures and files directly from the device. On the official site they also boast the availability of over 60 emoticons; which are the little smiley faces and such.
The Windows Live provides benefits to existing Windows Live users; but doesn't offer much more than any of the other applications or programs already available for the device.
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For those interested there are of course stipulations and requirements to using the Windows Live mobile application; unfortunately it still is not available for all Blackberry users.
Windows Live for mobile is only available to users of the following handsets: All in-market BlackBerry 7100 Series, BlackBerry 7200 Series, and BlackBerry 7520 Smartphone, BlackBerry 8700 Series, and BlackBerry 8800 Series and the BlackBerry Pearl Smartphone and BlackBerry Curve Smartphone.
Data service plans are also required to use the application; so users will need to check their Service Provider's pricings and rates. Most Blackberry users however already have a required data plan as it generally needs to be set up when the phone is first received.
The application can be obtained on the phone, and from a local PC, on either the official Windows Live for mobile or Blackberry websites.
The Windows Live for Blackberry link can be found here.
The official Windows Live link on the Blackberry site can be found here.