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RIM Forges Licensing Deal With Microsoft for Memory Storage

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. reached a licensing deal to give the struggling BlackBerry maker the rights to use Microsoft file-memory technology in its smartphones.

The technology standard, known as exFAT, will help users transfer large multimedia files between their smartphones and desktop computers, the companies said today in a joint statement. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Microsoft has similar agreements with electronics makers Panasonic Corp., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.

RIM is adding features to its BlackBerry phones in a bid to stop customers from fleeing to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices built on Google Inc.’s Android software. Early next year the Waterloo, Ontario-based company plans to release the first BlackBerry 10 phones, which have a faster Web browser and the ability to run multiple applications at once.

RIM rose 2.3 percent to $7.42 at the close in New York. The stock has lost 69 percent of its value in the past year. Shares of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft were little changed today, at $31.18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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