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By Chris Lau for Kapitall.BlackBerry (
BBRY) boosted its reach once again when its BlackBerry messenger app (“BBM”) for
MSFT) Windows Phone exited beta. BlackBerry spent more time customizing the look and feel of the app this time around. Why do so, when Microsoft’s market share in the smartphone market is very small? Though Android and Apple dominate this market, Microsoft’s market share is growing well. It now has more market share than BlackBerry.
BlackBerry designed BBM for Windows so it looks different from the versions released for Apple and Android. There are three main screens that organize the user experience. There is a contact and feed screen, followed by a chat screen.
BlackBerry should expect sustained user growth over the next few weeks. During the beta stage for BBM for Windows, 10,000 users signed up within the first 24 hours.
BBM offers Windows users group calendar and chat. The app extends BlackBerry’s reach beyond its own ecosystem, and makes the chat app now available on every major phone platform.
Windows Phone is important for BlackBerry because demand could strengthen for the WP OS. Microsoft’s phone offers native integration for Office 360. Xbox music, which contends with
AAPL) iTunes, is also a solid offering. BlackBerry recently announced it would
close its music store. Instead, users will be directed to
BlackBerry shares rose steadily this year, but peaked in mid-July. Since then, shares pulled back.
BBM alone will not give investors reasons to buy the stock, but the firm is progressing steadily in its transformation. The company is activating corporate customers steadily on its enterprise solutions. Having an app available on all platforms makes it more appealing for customers and corporations to consolidate its messaging solution on BBM.