This year has not been particularly kind to RIM, which has in recent months weathered a widespread network outage, seen its PlayBook tablet debut to lackluster sales, and watched as Google and Apple chew up ever-bigger gobs of the smartphone market. Earlier this year, the company announced it would cut 2,000 jobs worldwide, a shocking 10.5 percent of its global workforce.
On Tuesday, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis took to the stage at a San Francisco developers conference to outline another way forward: A new BlackBerry operating system called BBX, which will power many RIM tablets and smartphones by early 2012. Details are still leaking out, but according to Bloomberg News, which was at the San Francisco event, BBX will combine elements of the traditional BlackBerry platform and newer QNX technology.
In addition, SlashGear reports, BBX will get advanced graphics, support for 2D and 3D gaming, and a range of so-called "super apps," which "will allow for advanced capabilities such as deeper integration between apps, push services, social integration and more." In short, BBX will likely pull the relatively staid BlackBerry interface closer to the multimedia-heavy Android and iOS operating systems.
Horizons readers will remember that on Monday, RIM offered BlackBerry users a bundle of "premium" apps, worth $100, and available via the App World store. The premium apps were meant to assuage the anger of customers hit by a massive three-day outage, which left hundreds of thousands of users around the globe without access to email or data services.
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