BlackBerry’s Next Big Hope: MVS 5.0 Released

Research In Motion (RIM) has just released its Mobile Voice System (MVS) 5.0 for its BlackBerry line of smartphones. MVS 5.0 offers quite a few features that corporate users will find particularly exciting. Take for example the ability to use Wi-Fi anywhere to make calls through your regular phone back in your office. However, whether or not this system will be widely adopted remains to be seen.

Here’s a quick rundown on what MVS 5.0 offers those who purchase it for their business:

  • The ability to use a single number—both your office phone and BlackBerry are practically linked and share the same voicemail box, caller ID, etc.
  • The Wi-Fi calling I spoke about—it can save money.
  • The ability to move calls back and forth between different phones.
  • A lot of administrative support stuff that will bore you.

While these features sure look cool and could probably save some companies a lot of money in the long run, the biggest problem I still see with MVS 5.0 is that a lot of these features are in Google Voice. Even the Wi-Fi calling could be easily done with a few simple tricks and a programmer familiar with voice over internet (VoIP) technology. Since this is not a technology designed for the average consumer user of BlackBerrys, if they want the one number feature, then they will have to stick with Google Voice.

If RIM is placing a lot of their hopes on this technology reinvigorating their corporate sales and stemming the growing tide of competitors, then they might need to do a little better than this. When Google finally expands into business model (they seem to have a hand in everything these days) to include business services and solutions, RIM might feel pressure where it never really has before.

In the meantime though, RIM is safe and I am sure that plenty of companies will want to upgrade to or install MVS 5.0. Personally, I was hoping for a little more innovation from RIM. After all, this is the company that practically invented corporate mobile email and dragged us kicking and screaming from the dark ages of phones that only called. Who could image a phone that only does that anymore? Let me know what you think.

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