Pentagon backs Blackberry

The troubled Blackberry maker RIM does not get much good news lately as the world waits for its swan song, the Blackberry 10, to end up in the shops.

But it turns out that the smartphone maker still has chums at Washington at least among those who work in a five sided building.

The Pentagon said it would continue to support “large numbers” of BlackBerry phones made by Research in Motion even if it does start allowing the use of other smartphones.

There was some concern that the US military would stop using RIM completely.

However it turns out that it has taken a jolly long time to get some of the more elderly generals to use smartphones and there is some resistance about dumping them.

Blackberry also has a fairly secure network while Apple and Google are considered to be much more hackable.

The US Defense Department invited companies to submit bids for software that can monitor, manage and enforce security requirements for devices made by Apple and Google which would make the Blackberry redundant.

While losing some of its Pentagon business to other providers could deal another blow to RIM, it could have been a lot worse. Its worse case scenerio was that it would be dropped completely.

Now it will have to compete. True, its rivals are producing the demanded touchscreens but there are some indications that it might be a little tricky for Apple and Google to match RIM’s security system.

The Pentagon told Reuters that it was not moving away from its use of BlackBerry phones.

A spokesperson said that DISA is managing an enterprise email capability that continues to support large numbers of RIM devices while moving forward with the department’s planned mobile management capability that will support a variety of mobility devices.

RIM’s Paul Lucier pointed out that the way things had been worded, it was possible for his company to come out on top.

RIM’s BlackBerry Mobile Fusion product could also be used to manage Android and Apple devices, he said.