Some interesting features described below, in upcoming RIM updates to BES and to the device software, including search/retrieve messages on the server (even if no longer on the device)... Of course the speed of retrieval will presumably remain at least as slow as for most users searching their messages e.g. via Outlook from conventional wired computers (presumably neither Google nor Microsoft can enable the Desktop Search speed improvements of pre-indexed email on the blackberry, until some time in the future when blackberry device storage capacity will be able to handle many more GIGABYTES of index data ;-)
Click-to-call, security among RIM software updates - Yahoo! News: "...Enhanced e-mail handling will include several new features. Users will be able to search for and retrieve messages on their enterprise e-mail servers that are no longer stored on their BlackBerries. Also, the devices will be able to render HTML and rich text e-mail messages, including font colors and styles, images, hyperlinks, and other elements. After downloading Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel*** files, users will now be able to edit them on the BlackBerry, thanks to Documents to Go software from DataViz that is being integrated into the mobile platform.
Even within e-mail encrypted with PGP or S/MIME, BlackBerry users will be able to view attachments, according to the company.
RIM also has some good news for enterprises that want to more easily manage and lock down their employees' devices. They will be able to drill down and define which applications on a BlackBerry can access its GPS functionality as well as enable or shut down specific Bluetooth profiles and set how long the device is 'discoverable' using Bluetooth. The less time a phone is discoverable by other Bluetooth devices, the less chance an intruder has to hack it, although this method of breaking into a phone hasn't been widely exploited.
A Web-based device management console is also coming, allowing users to control settings and install software from any Web-connected computer. In addition, administrators will now be able to update users' devices over the air....
RIM expects to ship its BES version 4.1.5 software for IBM Lotus Domino and for Microsoft Exchange by the end of February. They will be free upgrades for customers with BES version 4.1.0 or later, while others can buy the upgrade for $999 or purchase a Technical Support Services contract. The price of the BES for new customers will remain at $3,999 per server with 20 user licenses included.
Version 4.5 of the BlackBerry device software will be required to use many of the end-user features; it will be available in the first half of the year, depending on carrier. It will be a free download from RIM and carrier Web sites. The ability to edit Word and PowerPoint documents will come with version 4.5, but ***Excel editing capability will be in a later release, expected in the latter part of this year."