RIM buys user interface experts; More evidence it's serious about software

RIM buys user interface experts; More evidence it's serious about software

Summary: Research in Motion said it was acquiring user interface experts The Astonishing Tribe to focus on the PlayBook and BlackBerry.

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Research in Motion on Thursday said it was acquiring user interface experts The Astonishing Tribe to focus on the PlayBook and BlackBerry.

This small deal is another data point indicating that RIM is stepping up its software game. Now you can debate whether RIM's software efforts are a case of too little too late, but you have to acknowledge the company is trying to fix its weaknesses.

The Astonishing Tribe is essentially a UI design team that focuses on everything from consumer electronics to automotive applications.

It's obvious where this is heading for RIM. The company QNX software is garnering some initial buzz as the future operating system for the BlackBerry and the linchpin of the PlayBook.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek gave RIM shares a boost earlier this week with talk about the potential for the QNX platform. He upgraded RIM from a hold to a buy. Misek wrote:

QNX better and earlier than expected: our checks indicate that the new OS provides a great browsing experience, is scalable so can address low end and high end, is easy to port Android apps to, and is more secure, and requires less bandwidth. Also, the transition to QNX will be faster than expected.

Until we actually get our paws on the PlayBook, the jury is still out on QNX, but there's no doubt that RIM is trying hard to catch up on the software front.

To wit:

RIM's software effort will come down to execution, but on paper the company is moving in the right direction.

Related:

RIM's PlayBook: 3.3 million units a smidge more than a year from now?

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, BlackBerry, Software

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9 comments
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  • Competition is good for the Consumer

    RIM have to really innovate or it will only be a short time (less than a year) til they fall behind.

    There's plenty of choices for devices now, WebOS, Symbian (yes Nokia is holding to using Symbian for enterprise devices over MeeGo), Android, iOS 4.2, and even WP7.

    The one that I am watching very closely is: MeeGo

    The pace at which Intel and Nokia develop and the recent injection of another round of investor funding to the tune of $25M is showing great promise. MeeGo goes beyond smartphones for the UX (user experience) to include cars, Netbooks, Tablets, smartphones and other devices that support Qt embedded.

    Put a copy of MeeGo on a flash pen drive, boot up your netbook to it and see what I mean.

    I am not ready to replace UNE with it.... yet.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • When Intel Microsoft complete the Silverlight port to Meego

      the ui and app story will be much more interesting...
      Johnny Vegas
  • RE: RIM buys user interface experts; More evidence it's serious about software

    Or desperate.
    james347
    • yup, it's swim or sink time..

      @james347
      doctorSpoc
  • Good to see they're committed, but honestly I can't see ever buying a RIM

    product from here on out. And it sounds like most existing customers are just waiting until they can get out and on to one of the alternatives. Not looking so good for RIM...
    Johnny Vegas
  • I worked with QnX once.

    Cool OS. It had a great structure to it for production based applications both embedded and desktop.

    TorchMobile uses WebKit so making one a highly standards compliant browsers should be that much easier.

    At least RIM is getting a solid foundation.
    Bruizer
  • what does QNX have to do with the "browsing experience".. LOL..

    clueless analysts.. lol..
    doctorSpoc
  • About freaking time

    RIM is lagging behind the rest of the world and is rapidly becoming obsolete.<br><br>Hopefully this will allow RIM to continue innovating in an ever changing market.
    wackoae
  • RE: RIM buys user interface experts; More evidence it's serious about software

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