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Yahoo Goes Mobile The BlackBerry Way

Research in Motion (RIM) announced a pocketful of new information services today, courtesy of Yahoo.

The agreement includes content and service offerings from Yahoo Go For Mobile, Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger available in over 60 countries.

Some of the new services are available now, while others are planned for this year. RIM already had a development relationship with Yahoo, though today's news is a significant expansion of that.

With Yahoo Go for Mobile, BlackBerry users will have direct access to a suite of Yahoo services, including real-time access to Yahoo's community and content services. Yahoo Messenger, available now, offers BlackBerry users Yahoo's instant messaging service.

Yahoo also said it improved the integration of Yahoo Mail for BlackBerry users for real-time delivery of e-mail, enhanced wireless synchronization of sent and deleted items, as well as read/unread message status.

Future development plans will let Yahoo users wirelessly import, modify and synchronize their Yahoo address books and calendar entries on the BlackBerry.

Mike McGuire, a research director with Gartner, told internetnews.com the development agreement is a good fit even though BlackBerry is most popular among corporate users, and the Yahoo services are aimed largely at consumers.

"I've never met a mobile user who doesn't need services like search," said McGuire. "And I've never seen a casual BlackBerry user. This represents more resources for them to use."

RIM may also be hoping to expand its sales beyond its corporate and professional base with more popular Internet features. Yahoo is the largest Internet e-mail provider with over 220 million users worldwide.

"I think RIM sees an opportunity to extend their market and there is no better brand to be aligned with if you're trying to reach the mass consumer," said Yahoo spokesperson Helena Maus.

Maus also pointed to the breadth of the agreement.

"We're talking about 60 countries and 160 carriers, which speaks to the strength of this partnership. Partnering is in our DNA; we know how to do it well so there's a mutual benefit."