RIM Supercharges BlackBerry Browser with WebKit

bb_server_expressBlackBerry owners who have long envied the smooth Web browsing of peers with competing smartphones will finally get their time in the sun this year. On Tuesday, Research in Motion took the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce a forthcoming new browser along with new server software for businesses.

The browser will use the same open-source WebKit browser engine employed by the likes of Safari on the iPhone, Palm’s WebOS browser, and the Google Android browser.

“You’ll see how fast it downloads, how quickly it renders and how smooth it scrolls and zooms in,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told BusinessWorld.

RIM also announced Enterprise Server Express, a free version of the Enterprise Server software used to by businesses to provide corporate e-mail, calendars and other productivity services to employees. Although it will lack some of the more advanced features, “free” should be a compelling point beside a traditional license, which typically costs upwards of $3,000. It will be available for download in March.