Palm, RIM: Treo users can access BlackBerry Connect

Palm and RIM have signed a licensing deal to allow Treo 650 users to access BlackBerry email software. The companies plan to have the interoperability agreement up and running in early 2006. BlackBerry Connect will show up as an option on Palm's VersaMail email client. The deal also marks the first time that Treo customers can use automatic synchronization with calendaring. Palm already has similar deals with Microsoft Exchange, IBM's Lotus and Domino, Good Technology's GoodLink software, Intellisync, Seven and Visto in Europe. The company has yet to announce plans to enable BlackBerry Connect for Windows-based Palm devices.

The deal is big news for Palm and Treo users as its email service continues to gain interoperability deals. RIM, however, continues to face an uphill battle as it attempts to diversify its handheld offerings with software packages. Instead of defending its dominant market share from competitors like Palm, RIM's plan to market its email software is its ticket for growth. Although the company pulls in 75 percent of its revenue from handset sales, partnerships like the ones it has with Nokia and now Palm are risky in the short term as the handset makers will rake in all the revenue and RIM will have to settle for licensing fees. Although RIM is licensing software that is under dispute in its NTP patent case, they are spreading the software to companies who have already licensed it from NTP.

For more on the Palm, RIM licensing deal:
- turn your attention to this article from BusinessWeek