Research in Motion unveils Blackberry BBX mobile operating system

At the Blackberry DevCon Americas 2011 conference, RIM said its BBX OS combines elements of its Blackberry OS platform and QNX OS.

Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams is a correspondent for Computer Weekly.

She supports the technology team as well as covering mobile and desktop computing.

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Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has introduced its latest mobile operating system (OS), BBX.

 

At the Blackberry DevCon Americas 2011 conference, RIM said the new BBX OS combines elements of its Blackberry OS platform and QNX OS, which its Blackberry Playbook tablet device currently runs on.

Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO at RIM, introduced new tools to help developers build applications across its changing OS platform, including WebWorks for Blackberry smartphones and tablets and a native software development kit (SDK) for the Blackberry Playbook.

"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," he said.

The BBX platform will support Blackberry cloud services, HTML5 development and current development tools, such as Blackberry Runtime for Android apps.

Jan Dawson, Ovum chief analyst, said the changes will disgruntle the Blackberry developer community.

"The adoption of QNX across the entire line in the coming months and years also means that RIM is leaving its traditional Blackberry developers high and dry. In fact, it's arguably providing better support for existing Android developers than it is for existing Blackberry Java developers as it seeks to drive up the number of apps on the platform rapidly," Dawson said. "There simply is no migration path for existing developers, short of starting from scratch with an entirely new development environment."

RIM also demonstrated Blackberry Cascades, a rich user interface framework, which will be included in the native SDK and will be available later in 2011.

The developer beta version of the Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 is now available. RIM also announced its Blackberry Open Source Initiative to port open source libraries to the Blackberry Playbook.

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