RIM aims to launch new BBX platform
San Francisco, October 19, 2011
Research In Motion will introduce souped-up operating software for its BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet, aiming to make them more formidable competitors to Apple and Google devices.
At a developers conference in San Francisco, the Canadian company said on Tuesday it would install its new BBX platform in next-generation devices but provided no timetable.
BBX would replace the antiquated software that now powers the BlackBerry with a package built around the QNX system, already the engine behind the PlayBook. RIM wants to reverse a growing preference for faster and more intuitive Apple devices and those powered by Google's Android.
RIM is also eager to make more apps available for the tablet. To that end, RIM said it was giving developers a tool to adapt their Android programs for the Playbook, which has sold poorly since its April debut.
Developers had a muted initial reaction to the announcements, and many were hoping RIM would open the conference by taking the wraps off splashy new hardware.
'BBX could potentially be exciting, but I was honestly expecting a bigger announcement. There was nothing revolutionary,' said Dave Lane, a software developer for Metova, a small firm based in Tennessee.
But RIM did not say when the BBX software would show up in a product, and was silent on when the PlayBook might handle email routed through its secure enterprise servers without being linked to a BlackBerry. Critics say that is a big shortcoming of RIM's tablet. - Reuters