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BB OS is out, BBX is in

Recent reports from market research firms have revealed that Waterloo, Ontario based Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) is losing customers not only on a percentage basis, but also on a per unit basis in the U.S.  Adding to the company's woes, it recently experienced a major international outage that left BlackBerry users without email or messaging service.

But the company had some good news to announce, this week airing "BBX", its next generation BlackBerry operating system, at its DevCon keynote address.  The new operating system supports both native and web apps.

On the web app side, there's built in support for Android Java applications, much like the RIM Playbook.  This is critical as it gives new BlackBerries access to literally hundreds of thousands of new apps.  HTML5 web apps are also fully supported.

On the native apps side, there's a new Native SDK.  There's a new GUI SDK -- Cascade UI with support for 3D animations and more.  RIM is offering support for 100 commonly used open source libraries, including the popular multithreading library POSIX.  And for native apps RIM is also adding new deep integration to the company's push and BlackBerry Mail (BBM) services.

RIM President and Co-CEO.Mike Lazaridis was on hand to announce BBX [Source: RIM]

Adobe Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash and Air apps are fully supported.

The new operating system will be available on new BlackBerries and will be available as an OS upgrade for the PlayBook and future tablets.  An early build is available via the "BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Developer Beta."

The base code of the operating system comes from QNX, the OS currently used in the RIM PlayBook, but borrows literally from RIM's own BlackBerry OS.  QNX was first released in 1982 by a fellow Waterloo firm, and was purchased in 2004 by Harman International Industries (HAR).  Then in 2010 RIM scooped up the OS-maker, reaching an agreement to buy it from Harman.

BBX Product
The new OS will be installed on both RIM's tablets and its BlackBerry smartphones.
[Source: Berry Review]

Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM, cheered the fruit of that acquisition, stating, "With nearly 5 million BlackBerry apps downloaded daily, our customers have made BlackBerry one of the most profitable platforms for developers.  At DevCon today, we're giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications and we're providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next generation BBX platform."

Some employees and investors have recently expressed skepticism [1][2] about the leadership at RIM.  Nonetheless, with increasingly attractive hardware, and a reinvigorated OS effort, RIM just may have what it takes to pull off a turnaround.

Source: BerryReview

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By troysavary on 10/18/2011 9:32:18 PM , Rating: 2
Blackberry Balance will be the reason the corporate world sticks with Blackberry. This feature allows IT to lock down the enterprise side of the phone while still allowing it to be a personal phone for Facebook, games' etc. There will be two separate instances of the OS on the phone that do not speak to each other. Corporate data will be walled away from the personal area of the phone so apps that the user installs will not have access to the corporate network or any sensitive data on the phone. They will be able to allow workers to use their work phone as their fun phone without having to have two phones. This is huge.

By EricMartello on 10/19/2011 1:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Dual booting with one of the two OSes being secured is huge? It's not exactly a new that same token, do you really want to be employing dipsh1ts who feel the need to play with their phones instead of getting work done? I wouldn't.

By priusone on 10/19/2011 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I always thought that the goal was to just have one phone to mess with. My work let's me text and make phone calls to non-work related numbers when I'm not at work. Sure, you'll have people who always abuse the system, but for your average Joe, one phone is a lot better than two.

By troysavary on 10/20/2011 7:10:19 AM , Rating: 2
They wouldn't have to play during work hours. This is designed so that they can use their phone after work and on days off. Besides, for a lot of jobs, the line between "at work" and "Not at work" is rather blurry.

By retrospooty on 10/20/2011 9:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Still not seing this as a big feature. Security in a mobile phone is just a myth. If the job is highly secure, there should be no mobile at all. If there is extremely important data that cannot get into "the enemys" hands it should never be put on a mobile phone, not a BB, not Winmob, not Apple, not any. For normal people at normal companies how is this helpful?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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