In an aggressive move aimed at wooing the millions of smartphone users who would be interested in owning a BlackBerry -- just not all the time -- RIM will be releasing an innovative piece of software that allows its OS to run inside Windows Mobile 6. To many cellphone addicts this news is the equivalent of Parallels opening up Windows on Apple machines, as Pocket PC phones will not simply be skinned or loaded with BlackBerry Connect, but rather endowed with the full capabilities of a standalone BlackBerry -- including the ability to run third party programs. While so far the virtualization software -- slated for drop this fall, possibly free with subscription -- will only work on Crossbow, it's possible that the company could decide to support other platforms in the future, such as the Palm OS or its Linux-based successor, though no promises have been made. Bottom line is that this looks to be good news all around: RIM gets more unsuspecting users hooked on the Crackberry mentality, consumers can now have the best of both worlds when it comes to hardware / software combos, and even old Microsoft may come out on top, with the new members of the WinMo ecosystem potentially outweighing the flight from Exchange servers.

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RIM developing BlackBerry virtualization software