On Monday, Microsoft and Research in Motion (RIM) announced that the two companies will collaborate to bring popular Windows Live services to RIM's popular Blackberry smart phone devices. The first two services to make the transition to the Blackberry platform are Windows Live Hotmail (email) and Windows Live Messenger (instant messaging).

"RIM continues to look for ways to provide customers with a wide range of communications options and the best possible mobile experience," says RIM vice president of marketing Mark Guibert. "Our relationship with Microsoft and the addition of Windows Live services to BlackBerry smartphones help us build on that strategy for our customers."

Specifically, Blackberry customers will be able to access Hotmail-based email using so-called push technologies, which provide automatic message delivery and inbox synchronization. Blackberry users will also be able to view Hotmail email alongside email from other accounts via a single inbox and ready HTML-based email messages.

In related news, RIM also announced a new generation of its Blackberry devices that work with high-speed 3G data networks. The first 3G-enabled Blackberry device, the Blackberry Bold, will be rolled out globally this summer, according to RIM, but won't be sold in the US until later in the year. AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for the Bold at least temporarily, RIM says.