RIM releases Mobile Fusion management software upgrade

New version adds tools that can limit mobile access to Microsoft ActiveSync installations

Research in Motion Thursday released an upgraded version of its mobile management software designed to help its users prepare for a "simple and straightforward upgrade" to the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 release slated for early next year.

The BlackBerry Mobile Fusion 6 Service Pack 2 upgrade announced today is said to include, among other features, gatekeeping software designed to only allow mobile devices deemed compliant by IT shops to access Microsoft ActiveSync installations.

The upgrade is free for existing customers.

The upgrade supports ActiveSync configurations for Android devices that support Motorola Enterprise Device Management software.

In general, Mobile Fusion is designed to help IT shops securely manage iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices. The tool is part of a RIM initiative to move mobile management capabilities beyond its own BlackBerry platform.

RIM is slated to unveil two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, along with the BlackBerry 10 OS, on Jan. 30, 2013.

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 is RIM's name for its next-generation BlackBerry Enterprise Server, a product still widely used by organizations worldwide to manage secure wireless connections.

A RIM blog post explaining the upgrade doesn't specifically mention BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, although a spokeswoman said via email that the upgrade "will prepare [existing customers] for a simple and straightforward upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service10 early next year."

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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