For those of you that read RIMarkable on a regular basis you know that I am a die-hard BlackBerry fanatic, but, I have to admit that I am a bit worried about Research in Motion. Today marks the day that in many ways, may change the way that we think about wireless email. Today wireless email and BlackBerry are synonymous. Today is also the day that Microsoft releases it’s pre-beta of Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 which brings wireless email to all Exchange 2003 users with a Windows Mobile 5.0 PDA.
I am worried because because all of the BlackBerry Killers up until today, quite honestly have been laughable. Either the technology was not on par with what RIM offers, the device makers couldn’t agree on a way to make their units talk to backend mail systems, or the companies offering backend systems were too small to make a dent in RIM’s market share in the industry. I am worried about Research in Motion because Microsoft really only has one of these problems. Microsoft’s technology is not on par with RIM’s.
Unfortunately for RIM, Microsoft has in their arsenal the two most powerful weapons against inferior technology. They have used these weapons time and time again when they wanted to enter an industry that they intend to dominate with an inferior product. These two secret weapons are “Free” and “Time”. A most deadly combination when used properly and Microsoft has mastered the art of offering inferior products for free and over time improving them enough to make most forget about the tool that was better to begin with. How many of you still use Netscape? Probably a few, but a small few, like a few trees in my back yard as compared to all the trees in the world.