Microsoft license deal gives RIM shares a boost

BlackBerry maker's technology tie-up with Microsoft causes its share price to rally.

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Research In Motion's (RIM) share price received a boost yesterday after it signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft to use one of the technology giant's file storage systems.

Microsoft said the patent being licensed by RIM greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle and increases the speed at which those files can be accessed.

What it does is give investors a glimpse of what the BlackBerry 10 devices can do.

The technology also provides the ability to seamlessly transfer data between a variety of different devices.

"This is potentially money out of RIM's coffers for the right to use the ex-FAT patent in its technology. But what it does for investors and others is provide a glimpse into what the BlackBerry 10 devices can do," said Kevin Restivo, a mobile device analyst at global research firm IDC.

RIM has seen its once dominant position in the smartphone market slip away to Apple, Samsung and other competitors, and the company's fate may depend on the success of its new line of devices, the BlackBerry 10, which is set to hit the market early in 2013.

RIM hopes the BlackBerry 10 will help it regain market share that has been ceded to snazzier devices such as Apple's iPhone and others that run on Google's Android operating system.

"I think there is some anticipation and speculation around the devices that RIM will launch as a result of the announcement today," Restivo said.

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