Beleaguered Blackberry maker Research In Motion has stepped up its push to get developers behind the next version of its OS by opening its first developer centre in Slough.
At BlackBerry Jam in September, the company promised to set up BlackBerry Tech Centers around the world to help programmers looking to create or port apps for BlackBerry 10. On Monday, RIM said it has thrown open the doors on the first one at its European headquarters in the UK.
Open normal working hours five days a week, the centre has an onsite team of helpers to give advice to developers. Each day has a different theme: Android, iOS and Windows efforts get the most attention, with dedicated help available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while Mondays are for Native/Cascades/QT, and Wednesdays for WebWorks and HTML5.
BlackBerry 10, expected to arrive early in 2013, is regarded as a make-or-break release for RIM, which has seen BlackBerry lose ground to mobile rivals and deliver less-than-healthy quarterly results. A good line-up of apps is considered key to attracting buyers to BlackBerry handsets, and the company is putting some muscle into its outreach to developers, including sending out more than 5,000 BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha handsets to test their apps on.
"The opening of this first BlackBerry Tech Centre underscores our ongoing commitment to actively engage with and support the efforts of our developer community," Alec Saunders, head of developer relations at RIM, said in a statement.
After Slough, the company plans to open more developer tech centres in Silicon Valley, Vancouver and Indonesia, among other locations.