BBM still has over 85 million active users but the company wants to promote its use among enterprise customers

BlackBerry to open BBM up to Windows phones

BlackBerry’s popular messaging system BBM will now be open to those using the Windows phone platform.

The Canadian firm is seeking to reinvent itself as a more software and services driven company as its smartphone market share has dwindled in recent years has been lately touting new BBM features in a bid to make it a more viable messaging tool for enterprise clients.

While BBM was one of the pioneering mobile-messaging services and still has over 85 million active users, its user base has failed to keep pace with those of WhatsApp and other rivals, in part because BlackBerry had long refused to open the program to users on other platforms.

Last year the company opened the service to phones powered by Google popular Android operating system and Apple's iOS platform and the rollout to the Windows phone platform means the service is now available on all major smartphone platforms.

In a bid to boost its relevance and cater to the needs of its core enterprise audience BlackBerry is now marketing the messaging service as a secure communications tool for government agencies and regulated sectors, such as financial services.

Last month, BlackBerry began to roll out BBM Protected, a secure messaging service tailored specifically to the needs of companies in regulated sectors and the firm is currently in the process of buying Secusmart, a German mobile encryption technology developer.

The move is part of a broader push that has also seen BlackBerry widen its device management capabilities to include devices that are powered by the Android, iOS, and Windows platforms, though a move to bring BBM to desktops is still a ways off.

"I can't tell you whether we are going to do BBM on desktop. That is a collaboration we have to have between us and Microsoft and I wouldn't be able to comment on that, because we certainly have the desire, but between that and getting it done there is still a gap," said BlackBerry chief executive John Chen, in an interview with Reuters earlier this week.

Earlier this year, Chen had said that BlackBerry was looking into the possibility of bringing BBM to desktop computers, thus allowing employees of companies and government agencies to go mobile on group chats started on their computers without missing a beat.

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