BlackBerry Maker RIM Intros BBX OS To Its Developer Community


Research In Motion (RIM), the developer of the BlackBerry mobile device series and the PlayBook tablet PC, on Wednesday introduced BBX, the latest version of its mobile operating system, to developers.

The new BBX operating system was unveiled at the BlackBerry DevCon Americas conference, held this week in San Francisco.

RIM also used the conference to introduce a variety of other developer tool updates.

BBX is a collaboration of RIM and its subsidiary QNX Software Systems, which develops operating systems, middleware, development tools, and professional services for the embedded systems market. The name "BBX" includes the "BB" from the BlackBerry name and the "X" from the QNX name.

After apologizing for the recent outage in service millions of BlackBerry users worldwide experienced this month, Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO of Research In Motion, used his keynote presentation to introduce BBX to his company's developer community.

Lazaridis said that RIM earlier this year entered tablet PC market with the BlackBerry PlayBook, which offers any-time operation, multi tasking, full high-definition 1080p streaming video, and more, and that the BBX operating system is the next step in developing an ecosystem for the device and other mobile devices.

"Today, we're going to show you what we're doing to make it even better," he said. "Just like we revolutionized wireless e-mail, we're transforming the tablet experience ... and taking the success of BlackBerry into the future."

That future includes a new platform for his company's development community, Lazaridis said.

"We're taking the power of QNX, open standards, and the best of BlackBerry, and building a powerful development platform for BlackBerry developers."

Also taking the stage at the BlackBerry developers conference was Dan Dodge, president of QNX Software Systems, who called BBX a single, unified platform for the entire world, including mobile phones, tablet PCs, and millions of embedded devices in use.

That includes managed embedded devices working in the cloud and accessing cloud services, such as devices being installed in over 230 different makes of automobiles, Dodge said. "It's a truly grand unifying vision."

BBX is based on open source, and has the kind of security which enabled the BlackBerry PlayBook to become the first FIPS-certified tablet PC, Dodge said.

"To my knowledge, we are the only kernel that is a Certified Secure kernel, and a Certified Safe kernel ... (The) security and certifications allows us to address a wide variety of markets, but we never gave up on that real-time, multi-core performance," he said.

The BBX platform has a library of almost 100 standard libraries that developers would expect to see, including POSIX, C++, XML, font rendering, compression, and other standard open source libraries, Dodge said.

"But we recognized that developers may have their own particular library that they love to use," he said. "So what we're going to do is to take and port all the system and open-source libraries that are out there, we'll test them, we'll post them so our developers can download those libraries. So they can work immediately, and include them as part of their applications and drop them right on their device. And if we see a lot of developers using the same library, we'll bring it into the system library."

Next: Other Offerings For RIM's Developer Community