Microsoft and RIM have announced an agreement to provide Microsoft Windows Live services on BlackBerry smartphones.
This will mean "easy" mobile access to Windows Live Messenger and an enhanced level of integration between Windows Live Hotmail and the BlackBerry platform.
The team up will see customers able to "seamlessly" access their Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger account from their BlackBerry smartphone by entering their Windows Live email address and password once.
Windows Live Hotmail for BlackBerry will allow customers to use BlackBerry "push" technology for automatic message delivery and message synchronisation so the customers' online account is up-to-date with actions taken on their BlackBerry smartphone.
There will also be the option to use a dedicated inbox for Windows Live Hotmail messages, or to have the emails, along with messages from other email accounts, arrive in a single inbox.
Windows Live Messenger for BlackBerry looks like a fully-featured offering that will allow customers to send instant messages and join group chats, set status and see the presence of friends and colleagues, customise status messages, save conversations, show display pics, send and receive pictures and files and use more than 60 emoticons.
Windows Live services for BlackBerry smartphones are expected to be available from the summer in multiple languages.