BlackBerry continues cross-platform strategy with BBM Windows Phone launch
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is now available on Windows Phone 8 devices as the Canadian manufacturer continues to pursue its cross-platform messaging strategy.
A beta for the application was released last month, featuring individual and group chats, contact feeds and the ability to pin favourite chats to the home screen. More features, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels and location sharing will be added in the coming months.
BBM Windows Phone
“As the popularity of BBM continues to grow, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand its availability to the Windows Phone community,” says John Sims, BlackBerry’s head of enterprise. “The BBM app for Windows Phone shows our commitment to supporting cross-platform capabilities, and we are excited to be working with Microsoft to deliver a new level of collaboration to the Windows Phone platform.”
Previously one of the main selling points of the BlackBerry platform, BBM was launched on iPhone and Android last year and has proved a success for the Waterloo-based firm, which claims to have 85 million users of the messaging platform.
Messaging has since become one of the pillars of BlackBerry’s latest recovery plan, along with enterprise services, high-end business handsets and QNX-embedded systems.
Windows Phone boost
The arrival of BBM on Windows Phone helps to address one of the major weaknesses of the platform – a comparative lack of popular applications.
“We are intent on bringing the most popular application experiences to Windows Phone, and with BBM, we are pleased to bring many of its top features to the Windows Phone platform,” says Bryan Biniak, vice president and general manager of developer experience at Microsoft. “BBM on Windows Phone brings our customers the secure, easy-to-use messaging experience they demand, and we expect that new features will roll out in the months to come.”
Windows Phone has enjoyed some success in the UK and the rest of Europe, but remains a distant third to iOS and Android in the global smartphone market. Microsoft hopes its recent acquisition of Nokia’s devices business will allow it to expand its market share.
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