RIM announces its next OS: BBX

QNX, Android, HTML5, WebGL, Flash and open source: BBX-OS promises to support almost everything mobile except BlackBerry.

As expected, RIM has announced the next generation of BlackBerry devices will run a new operating system based on the QNX OS used on the PlayBook tablet.

BlackBerry OS 2BlackBerry OS 1

"BBX combines the best of BlackBerry and the best of QNX using open standards to connect people, devices, content and services," co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told the BlackBerry Devcon audience.

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"It's a single unified platform for the entire world: for phones, for tablets and for millions of embedded devices," he said, hinting at applications that could also run in cars and on TVs. "We've got the security certification, the reliability certification and the security. We've built on top of that, we've added open source to write great apps with and with HTML5 we're intercepting the future."

BBX combines the best of BlackBerry and the best of QNX using open standards.

RIM hasn't announced any details of BBX-OS BlackBerry phones yet, referring only to what RIM VP Alec Saunders carefully called "future unnamed devices that are coming," which will run apps written for the PlayBook.

"Anything you write today in HTML5 or with any of the native PlayBook development tools will go forward onto BBX," Saunders promised.

That includes Flash 11 and AIR 3, which are included in today's Developer Beta release of PlayBook OS 2.0, along with support for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics using WebGL and the first appearance of RIM's Android runtime. This is for Android applications that have been repackaged for PlayBook by developers using the new Android SDK, but RIM demonstrated familiar Android apps like Pulse.

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No BlackBerry on BBX

What the OS does not include is any support for the Java ME apps that have run on BlackBerry in the past.

Although RIM had previously suggested there would be a way to run BlackBerry apps in an emulator like the Android player, this won't be delivered.

"We spent a lot of energy on getting the BlackBerry Java platform to run in BBX but at the end of the day we concluded it wasn't an experience we wanted to deliver to customers and developers," Saunders explained. "Looking forward to where we see the platform going, to the next generation of mobile experiences, Java ME doesn't fit with that experience."

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