RIM BBX OS will marry BlackBerry and QNX and run on everything
All RIM devices will be compatible with BBX, its new mobile platform that's part QNX and part BlackBerry OS, RIM announced during its DevCon keynote.
Research In Motion Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, still standing after an exhausting week (CP: BlackBerry maker RIM to give away apps and service following outage), took the stage at the BlackBerry maker's DevCon Americas 2011 event to deliver the keynote and introduce what RIM hopes is the answer to increasing interest in its PlayBook tablet: a new OS.
BBX, a marriage of the BlackBerry OS and RIM's QNX is a unified platform for RIM's smartphones, tablets and embedded devices, according to live-blogging reports from Engadget and This Is My Next. "Everything you build for BBX," Lazaridis told developers, "will run on everything we offer in the marketplace."
Playing to RIM's longtime strength, enterprise-grade security is a major feature of BBX, along with NOC and cloud services. It's also certified POSIX (portable operating system interface for Unix), opening the platform to developers, and the native environment includes 100 open-source libraries for devs to take advantage of.
During his 90-minute address, Lazaridis was joined on stage by a number of colleagues and partners. Highlights of the address included:
-- Games were played and showed off, and HTML 5 was described as the bridge between BBX and older versions of the BlackBerry OS, as well as the "future mass application platform." HTML 5 apps run like native apps, enabling devs to write once and deploy everywhere.
-- Cascades is a native UI framework, reports Engadget, that's "built into BBX and gives devs access to low-level APIs and higher level plug-and-play type development."
-- BlackBerry Balance is RIM's answer to enterprise employees having private lives. It'll be on all BlackBerry handsets and arrive soon on the PlayBook. It has BES integration, and a "corporate partition" to separate info coming from the BES from everything else.
-- Enterprise apps — hosted by a company's BES and un-deletable by employees — will get their own shelf in App World.
-- Through the Citrix Receiver, PlayBook users can access Microsoft-running desktop and launch individual applications.
-- RIM says that users are hungry for apps and BlackBerry is good for devs. BB7 phones generate an 11-times-higher gross per app ARPU than BlackBerry 5 and 6 phones, and App World is the second-most profitable app store. RIM introduced a new developer program, BlackBerry Jam, with a Jam Community and Jam Zone, and promised to ix-nay a lot of pain points RIM currently creates for devs.
And of course, Lazaridis again apologized for the outages that affected users around the world last week and insisted RIM was working to win back their trust — just as it was working to keep interested developers on board.
Analyst Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates told Connected Planet that he doesn't expect the outages will affect developers' direction — that they go were the volume is.
In line with the puns surround the new BlackBerry Jam, it's clear RIM hopes to pump up the volume.
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