The words “exciting” and “BlackBerry” aren’t used in a sentence these days unless they’re slathered in
Olive Garden irony sauce, but believe it or not, Research in Motion managed to perk the ears of investors and consumers alike today at DevCon 2011. RIM has had a rocky start with its QNX platform that was launched along with its unfortunate BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and RIM plans on reversing its downward spiral with BBX. BBX is the next generation of the BlackBerry operating system and it does what QNX should have done: it incorporates all of BlackBerry’s platforms (BBS-OS, BB Social Platform, always-on push services, and enterprise solutions) under one roof.
HTML5 apps are now backwards compatible with BB6 and BB7 as the BBX browser is now built on the same source code as the previous BlackBerry OS iterations. A snazzy Cascades framework based UI was designed by The Astonishing Tribe (which RIM acquired in 2010), a design group that was deeply involved in shaping the look of Android early on. RIM also showed off its Marmalade game engine by demoing some high-end mobile games like Asphalt 6 and Lara Croft: Guardian of Light. Development and apps was as major focus on the announcement as RIM said developers can create their apps in C++ and then bring them in to BBX using RIM’s developer toolkit. BBX will also support any apps developed using HTML5, WebWorks, Native SDK, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, and BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps, and all of these apps will be compatible across any BBX devices such as tablets, smartphones, and embedded systems. Of course, RIM is also emphasizing what it is known for: security and enterprise solutions. Security Certification EAL4+, IEE POSIX certification, and IEC 61508 Safety (SIL3) are all included and RIM tooted the PlayBook’s horn, saying it was the first tablet to be certified for government use.
It is nice to see that RIM is making its way into the party, albeit a bit late. It still is fighting an uphill battle but BBX is a step in the right direction for RIM. Apparently investors feel the same way as RIM’s stock jumped up 3% after the announcement. Let’s see if they can maintain the optimism with the release of its future BBX-powered devices.