We migrated our Exchange mail hosting to Microsoft’s Office 365 when the O 365 service went live in May. We support BlackBerry clients and have been between a rock and a hard place the last couple of months waiting on the promised hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES). BES allows BlackBerry devices to synchronize contacts, calendars and contacts with Microsoft Exchange Server since BlackBerry does not support ActiveSync.
We’re now seeing some noise from RIM that this service will be available in the next six months. A recent comment on a Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference announcement from RIM indicates that—as of July 8, 2011—RIM was in a closed beta test for cloud-based Office 365 integration with an open beta expected to begin in October. An earlier May 2011 comment on an Office 365 community forum pegged the final release at Q4 of 2011.
I am hopeful that RIM will make the final release of BES for Office 365 available in Q4 but I’m skeptical. I’m guessing the final release date will slip past December 31, 2011. Let me know if you think RIM will deliver before or after December 31 (kind of an over/under sports gambling bet!) and feel free to add any comments with better information pegging a final release date.