BlackBerrys to offer Gmail – with limitations

Google has launched a service to push Gmail and calendar items to the native client software on BlackBerry devices, stepping up the search giant's efforts in the enterprise market, IDG news service reports.

The service will be included with the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps. End-users will find their Google messages pushed to the email client on their BlackBerry, and messages sent from their phones will appear to have come from their organisation's Google mail account.

Google is upping the ante against Microsoft in its heartland – the enterprise – but it does have some weaknesses. Initially, calendar items can be synchronised only from the server to the user's phone, so appointments made on the hoof can’t be backed up. This should be fixed by the end of the year.

Also, to begin with, the service will initially support only 250 users per BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), although usually it can handle at least 500 users. If an enterprise wants to support more than 250 Google Apps users it will have to use an additional BES.