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BlackBerry BBX: RIM Elevates its Mobile OS

by Tim Attwood on November 2, 2011

BlackBerry DevCon: Mike Lazaridis, General SessionStruggling with falling market shares, lower Blackberry shipments and the recent outage of service for users across the country, mobile phone and tablet maker RIM is in a difficult position. Inroads are quickly being made into what was once exclusively their territory by both Apple and Google, and the company is hoping that its newly-announced cross-platform OS, BBX, will be what puts them back on top.

BBX is a combination of the Blackberry OS and the QNX platform which RIM acquired last year. Together, they create BBX. But this is an entirely new animal – apps that work on current versions of the Blackberry and PlayBook OS won’t work with BBX. The company hopes, however, that the all-inclusive nature of the OS will make up for the fact that users are going to have to update all of their apps and favorite programs. RIM intends this version of their OS to work on all of their tablets and smartphones as well as in users’ cars, in enterprise-scale business, and in the cloud.

There is no release date for the new BBX as yet, something that disappointed many of the press and tech sites covering the announcement, but RIM indicates that both smartphones and tablets should see the new OS in 2012. While no smartphone or tablet was shown running a demo of the new OS during the announcement, there is speculation that the Blackberry Colt will be the first smartphone to use BBX, and that it will be released in the middle of 2012.

BBX comes with a number of notable features, starting with the fact that it is open-source, allowing developers to create apps in whatever environment they are comfortable with and then port them over to Blackberry’s OS. BBX is therefore expected to have a large variety of apps to choose from, and while it won’t run old BlackBerry OS apps or iOS apps, it will run Android, Adobe Flash 11 and Adobe Air 3. In addition, Blackberry Email users can likely expect and update from the current Blackberry Enterprise Server that handles business email to a more cloud-friendly version that will sync their mail on the fly. Whether this will come in the form of Exchange ActiveSync or another type of syncing has yet to be announced, but it should provide a more streamlined experience for business users.

RIM’s strength has always been to play to the business market, something they are clearly taking aim at with the BBX announcement. In addition to ensuring that their enterprise-level functionality is improving, however, the company is also looking to add better support for games, design, and mulch-platform app designs with their new OS. Additionally, its ability to work in a vehicle – QNX already works in over 200 vehicle types – is something that RIM hopes will put it ahead of the competition. BBX promises a great deal, but with no release date, only time will tell if the new OS can get RIM back on track in time.


escort kuşadası November 3, 2011 at 6:33 AM

I have high hopes for the BlackBerry Colt next year. Its combination of BBX, usability inside a vehicle and open-source apps will help RIM erase all memories of the PlayBook. Even its cool name should help with marketing.

tatil November 3, 2011 at 6:37 AM

When Google acquired Android, few would’ve predicted the resulting success. Maybe RIM’s acquisition of QNX will lead to similar success. I’m looking forward to BlackBerry being cool again!

Rüya tabirleri November 4, 2011 at 7:58 AM

RIM has some work on its hands combatting the negative publicity the outage has generated. Hopefully, they can convince users this was a one-time event, and not to worry about it happening with QNX!

sikiş izle November 4, 2011 at 8:01 AM

I don’t think any phone or tablet has become the single alternative choice for the business market yet. So if RIM / BlackBerry could reinforce itself as THE brand for business, they could recapture their glory days.

hikaye November 12, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I wonder why you won’t be able to run old BlackBerry apps with BBX. It seems like if there’s a BB app you really liked, it’s only fair you should be able to use it no matter what OS you have.

Kredi Kartı ile Fatura Ödeme January 31, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I think BBX is great, but it may be too little too late. Once a brand name loses its cache, its very hard to get it back. Still, Apple was once down in the mouth too, and look where they are now.

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