RIM announced today its latest OS, BBX, which will be the first platform from the company to unify its BlackBerry smartphones, PlayBook tablet and embedded systems under the QNX operating system.
Speaking at the the BlackBerry DevCon today, co-founder Mike Lazaridis spent about 2 minutes apologizing for the massive outage that plagued thousands of BlackBerry subscribers last week, but was quick to move on to the future of BlackBerry devices.
He unveiled a new UI, developed by RIM's recently-acquired The Astonishing Tribe, which will be responsible for the advanced graphics on BBX’s Cascades UI Framework.
BBX will support 2D and 3D gaming, as seen when Dan Dodge, the founder of QNX, previewed games on the company’s PlayBook tablet. Dodge showed off graphics for games like Dead Space, Let’s Golf and Tomb Raider.
Software developed with Native SDK and Adobe AIR/Flash for current BlackBerry devices will work on BBX, as well as apps developed with WebWorks and HTML5. In addition, developers will be able to code using regular C++ and then bring their apps to BBX using RIM's developer toolkit.
BBX will support Security Certification EAL4+, POSIX certification and IEC 61508 Safety (SIL3), with RIM reminding consumers that security is its main goal. Going further to please enterprise users, RIM promised to keep CIO’s data protected with BlackBerry Balance, the IT management setup the company established earlier this year. BlackBerry App World will also become a little more corporate-friendly with the addition of a “Work” tab, which will offer a section entitled “Your Company’s App Catalog” allowing users to sort, update, delete or check the version number of their Work-specific apps.
RIM did not reveal today when the first BBX-based smartphones and tablets will be released. It's likely to be sometime next year, but the company hasn't yet gotten more specific. Lazaridis also didn't bring up the subject of OS upgrades for current devices.
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