Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is about to bring more electronic communications one step dearer to its Blackberry device when it loads up the popular gadget with messaging products from Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and America Online's AIM. Indeed, gadgets are getting smarter, it seems.

The Blackberry -- cleverly nicknamed the "Crackberry" by some in testimony to its addictive nature -- enjoyed its original runaway success because it made it easy for people to get their email on the run. There are also Blackberries that double as cell phones, and it doesn't hurt to mention that before today's move, Blackberry users could load instant messaging programs to the devices. (See Yahoo!'s press announcement, as well as the one issued by America Online, by clicking here or here.)

Of course, many phones -- and PDAs -- have gotten much smarter in recent history. Look at palmOne's (NASDAQ:PLMO) newest Treo 650. It integrates a phone, email, messaging, digital camera, and other must-have mobile gadgetry.

Given the fact that many Blackberry users were already pinging their friends using instant messaging applications enabled by third-party software, today's move is not so much an innovation as a logical expansion and an ease-of-use issue. Some might simply muse on what took it so long and move on. (On the other hand, investors might wonder whether competitive gadgets in the smartphone category could take some of the zing out of the Blackberry.)

Meanwhile, though, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) instant messaging program is conspicuously missing from this Blackberry bundle. Meanwhile, though, given the popularity of Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AIM and Yahoo!'s messaging clients, it seems that maybe for the time being, anyway, Blackberry's got its bases covered.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.