With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

Summary: Mike Lazaridis unveils Research in Motion's next-generation mobile operating system, BBX. Is it enough to re-focus the company -- and its developers -- on the enterprise?


Are you ready to jam, BlackBerry developers?

Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis this morning unveiled a new name for its next-generation mobile operating system, BBX, in an effort to convince developers to stick with his company's platform.

Reeling from a three-day global outage that showed a humbled Lazaridis speaking solemnly about switch failures, the BlackBerry DevCon event showed a more upbeat executive selling the future.

What kind of future is unclear. As my CNET colleague Roger Chen reports, "BBX combines the best qualities of RIM's older BlackBerry operating system and its QNX platform, which powers the PlayBook tablet." Among the changes are an upgraded gaming engine, user interface and HTML 5 compatibility, as well as an updated business model that eases the process for developers and boosts their profits.

Lazaridis aims to lure developers back from Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, but you could argue that he simply needs to do a better job providing a mobile platform for the enterprise. Big business has expressed serious concern about Android's security, for one, and it's clear that IT departments are not entirely convinced that iOS or Android are the answer.

But the devices keep showing up at the office, thanks to their popularity at home and pressure to mobilize at the office. And that's what's got Lazaridis all fired up.

I can't help but wonder if RIM is aiming for the wrong target. As it touts figures such as "1 billion apps sold in App World," it's clear that the company has consumer growth on its mind -- even though its support is slowly eroding in the enterprise.

Instead of shipping 700,000 enterprise-perfect tablets, it shipped 700,000 not-good-enough not-iPads that lacked native e-mail and messaging.

Wireless carriers have rebuffed the company's overtures to sell PlayBooks in their stores, and for good reason: it won't hold a candle to the iPad, much less the Xoom, on store shelves.

But RIM should really be worried about selling through the channel. With a core enterprise audience, the PlayBook should be the most profitable tablet on the market -- but it's not, because RIM can't decide if it wants the PlayBook to be buttoned up or let its hair down.

It's true that consumerization of the marketplace has changed its dynamic, but distinct customers still exist and acute needs still require solutions. While RIM is busy upgrading its game engine, c-suite executives are busy using iPads to visually present information during meetings without hiccups.

The good news is that consumerization puts pressure on RIM to make the process easier for developers. That's a benefit no one can deny. But more developers and the right developers may not be the same thing.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security, Software Development

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • RE: With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

    I really believe ppl will be happy when Blackberry isnt around anymore. I mean look at the facts here you have google that isnt a secure OS and windows which is much much worst. I mean people who would choose a pc over a mac for example clearly dont understand what goes on under the hood when it comes to pc platforms and those same ppl flock to google and windows OS like a moth to flame. With Apple they found their market with the iphone which is a big mp3 player that takes phone calls now if you try to incorporate BIS into that equation the chances are it will back fire. Blackberry has its own lane it just needs to improve on it and stop listening to sites like these that are bias to BB. BB has been behind the scene helping businesses run SUCCESSFULLY years before the "fun" smartphones came about. Needless to say BB has more users that make sixth figure salaries and up than any other smartphone on the market. Only in America BB is suffering the most because in this country more so than other ppl dont take the time to read they just listen to what the "media" says they should have..
  • Wireless carriers

    "Wireless carriers have rebuffed the company???s overtures to sell PlayBooks in their stores, and for good reason: it won???t hold a candle to the iPad, much less the Xoom, on store shelves."

    Umm the primary issue is the Playbook is a WiFi only device so there is no incentive to sell it as they cannot sell a data plan (which is all carriers care about)
  • RE: With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

    It is about time... RIP RIM... we wont miss you. We can celebrate the day as a day when enterprise mobile got advanced.
    • RE: With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

      @browser. Right - Enterprise Mobile needs consumer toys more than business-capable machines!
  • RIM Fading? I hope not, all others are not corporate ready.

    RIM Fading? I hope not, all others are not corporate ready.
  • RE: With BBX, is RIM 'ready to jam' in the enterprise?

    You wouldn't be asking if you'd seen BBDevCon
    Amazing stuff for the end-user and the enterprise.
    Blackberry Balance really is managebility at its best.
    App World for the Enterprise... and much much more
    Check it out http://www.blackberrydevcon.com/americas/webcast
  • not co-CEO, some of their VPs and VPs' "expert" destroy RIM

    Don't blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM???s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members??? contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don't blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs' expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.