Shares of BackBerry appreciated by 4% on Tuesday after the tech firm indicated that it would offer security to Microsoft’s Office software. The moves follows high-profile data breaches in the recent past and reflects an effort by the business organizations to beef up their cybersecurity. According to Christopher Eberle, an analyst at Nomura Instinet, BlackBerry leads with regards to mobile security software despite having exited the mobile devices hardware business.
At one time Microsoft and BlackBerry were fierce rivals before they shifted focus to other businesses after they lost in the competitive smartphone market. The focus of Microsoft has turned to cloud computing while that of BlackBerry is on offering security and software to devices manufactured by other entities.
BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge
Under the deal BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge, a platform of the Canadian company, will be made available to businesses so that they can access apps such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel on mobile devices.
“Microsoft’s core Exchange/Outlook customer base is commercial, including government and regulated industries. These customers were the big users of BlackBerry,” said Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Bernstein.
Additionally other services from BlackBerry including BlackBerry Workspaces and Dynamics will be also be made available on Azure, the cloud computing platform of Microsoft.
Class action suit
This comes in the wake of a judge in the United States rejecting a bid by the Canadian tech firm to have a lawsuit filed against it dismissed. The lawsuit claims that BlackBerry inflated the price of its shares and thereby defrauding shareholders in the process by giving a misleading picture of how the BlackBerry 10 smartphones would perform in the market. According to Judge Colleen McMahon, the class action suit can go ahead now though an earlier version had been dismissed three years ago.
Per the judge new information had surfaced regarding the alleged conduct of BlackBerry in the course of a criminal prosecution of a retailing executive. The executive worked at a retail outlet which stocked BlackBerry smartphones. Additionally a new legal standard that has been adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States was cited by the judge. The legal standard makes it easier for complainants to demonstrate that opinion statements might be misleading.
Besides BlackBerry other defendants in the suit include Steve Zipperstein, chief legal officer; Brian Bidulka, ex-chief financial officer and Thorsten Heins, ex-chief executive officer. While the BlackBerry 10 was positively reviewed by critics, it was not a commercial success.