RIM has been slowly expanding its footprint beyond BlackBerry devices. The company seems to have concluded that its future is in software, and the hosted services that are attached to that software. BlackBerry Connect is software, which exists today, and allows access to BlackBerry services via a Nokia E-series phone, such as the E-61/62. News.com reports this morning that RIM will also provide a software suite for Windows Mobile devices later this year. Ovum provides more detail, including that the BlackBerry suite will run as an application on Windows Mobile devices, and that it provide a "more or less complete" set of APIs which will allow enterprise applications developed for BlackBerry to run on Windows Mobile.
An interesting strategy seems to be developing. By moving the BlackBerry suite lock stock and barrel onto the competitions devices, RIM may expand the distribution footprint of the BlackBerry software dramatically. The risk, however, is that customers may simply view this as a stepping stone in a migration from BlackBerry to another platform. What are they really playing for? Control of the handset, domination of the mobile email market, perhaps both?
UPDATE: more details in RIM's Press Release. And BlackBerry lovers will get a kick out of CrunchGear's reaction: "Basically, it means your T-Mobile Dash, HTC Libra, and Motorola Q won’t suck as much anymore."