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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
More phones can be BlackBerries
A BlackBerry unit
RIM hopes to boost customer growth with new software
The firm behind the popular handheld BlackBerry will make the device's software more widely available.

Research in Motion (RIM) plans to roll out software that will allow multimedia mobile phones running on a Microsoft platform to work like BlackBerries.

The facility will widen the choice of handsets available for Blackberry devotees who want to use its applications, such as wireless e-mail.

But it will only work on mobiles with the latest Windows software.

There are currently few models available running Windows Mobile 6.0, the latest version of Microsoft's platform, but the numbers are expected to increase this year.


The software is designed to broaden access to Blackberry functions, especially to those who do not want to switch devices to get them.

Once the software is installed, the Windows layout and icons are replaced with the BlackBerry interface, customised to the particular handset.

A user would be able to switch back and forth between the two platforms, the company said.

The Canadian firm said it did not know yet whether downloading the software would incur an added charge, or if it would be included with subscription to the BlackBerry service, which generally costs between $30 (14.90) and $50 a month.

RIM said it was working closely with a number of mobile phone operators, including AT&T, to make the software available on handsets, possibly by September.

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