From BlackBerry OS to PlayBook OS: About Time?

RIM’s PlayBook tablet, officially announced this week, will, oddly enough, be using a different operating system than the company’s BlackBerry devices. The PlayBook will consequently be powered by RIM’s latest acquisition of mobile OS developer QNX, and not the latest, sixth version of the BlackBerry operating system.

Today, however, brings news that RIM may be aligning its mobile OS efforts, and may be using the PlayBook OS for BlackBerry devices as well.  The change would not be likely to take place any time in the near future.  IntoMobile reports,

“Over a breakfast event today at the BlackBerry Developer Conference, a RIM VP confirmed that the QNX operating system announced in their new PlayBook tablet would in fact be finding its way to smartphones in the long run, and ultimately replace the existing BlackBerry OS. Of course that kind of major transition would take time, and he said BlackBerry 7 would likely be a stepping stone to a full switch.”

The QNX OS for the PlayBook tablet will also be released to BlackBerry devices, closely following the launch of BBOS7. Referred to as “old-fashioned” in light of the barrage of competition on the market (as well as an unlikeliness to create a competitive buzz anytime soon), this year’s newborn BBOS6 doesn’t seem to have a big appeal in the hands of the casual users.

This would be cause for some consideration at RIM, as the BlackBerry maker needs a way to monetize its platform as well as its devices, if it wants to stand a chance against the Apple and Android combos, as mobile app content becomes a huge driver in the greater mobile economy.  Streamlining efforts for the developer community as well would be smart for RIM, as there needs to be a certain level of uniformity.  The article goes on to note some of these developer-related concerns,

“After seeing what QNX was about yesterday, there seemed little reason for Research In Motion to not adopt the operating system full time for their smartphones; the OS has a mind for stability, lower power consumption, efficiency, a wide variety of developer platform support, as well as rich multimedia capabilities ranging from Flash to 3D rendering. Some existing BlackBerry apps will be able to run on the PlayBook, but details are still hazy on what real-world interoperability will be like.”

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