BlackBerry finally sees competition within US government

Despite our commander-in-chief's seemingly undying allegiance to BlackBerry, it looks like the federal government could be ready to make a break from RIM. According to a Washington Post article published yesterday, a number of agencies within the federal government are questioning their attachment to the standard-issue BlackBerry devices, and allowing government employees to bring in their own preferred methods of communication -- among other things, Congress now allows the use of iPads and iPhones on the House floor and use of BlackBerrys at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has dropped from 1,000 to 700 in the past year. What's more, the General Services Administration is currently shifting 17,000 employees to Gmail, a move it says could reduce expenses by 50 percent in the next five years. Likewise, the USDA will also move its email services to the cloud with Microsoft's services, claiming $6 million in annual savings. Now, we doubt Obama's going to turn a blind eye to RIM entirely, but he has been getting awfully cozy with that iPad.