RIM to Enhance Operating Software for BlackBerry and PlayBook Devices

By Erin Harrison October 18, 2011

Research in Motion has been on a bumpy ride this year, however, the BlackBerry maker is planning to release upgraded operating software for its smartphone and PlayBook tablet in an attempt to more successfully compete with rivals Apple’s and Google’s devices.

Without providing a timetable, the Canadian company said at a developers conference this week that it plans to install its new BBX platform in next-generation devices, according to Reuters.

The report said that the BBX platform would replace RIM’s “antiquated software that now powers the BlackBerry with a package built around the QNX system, already on the PlayBook,” in an effort to quell growing consumer popularity of Apple and Google’s Android devices.

But many analysts did not appear impressed with the announcement, saying it wouldn’t be enough to attract investors.

“I have not seen anything outside the box,” Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Robison said, according to Reuters. “[RIM] seems to be on the charted course. I have not seen anything to impress investors.”

The public appearance was the Canadian company’s first since worldwide service outages last week.

What began as an issue impacting some BlackBerry customers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions Oct. 10 spread to the United States by mid-week, RIM officials said, pointing to a “core switch failure” within RIM’s infrastructure.

The company’s stock dropped more than five percent as a result of the global BlackBerry outage, even after the company attempted to make it up to irritated users by offering free apps and technical support as a way of saying “We’re sorry.”

Ten of millions of BlackBerry users on five continents were stuck without mobile e-mail and other messaging for up to four days. The blackout undermined an already tarnished brand and raised further questions about the company’s management and future prospects.

RIM shares rose 2.5 percent to $22.95 in Nasdaq trade on Tuesday, Reuters said.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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