Live blog: RIM keynote at WES 2010 on future of BlackBerry

ZDNet will be live blogging the WES 2010 keynote of RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who is expected to reveal details about the future of the BlackBerry platform.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief

10:21 AM: To close this out, here are my first impressions of BlackBerry 6. It looks a lot like OS 5 to me, but with a little more polish and eye candy. The touchscreen UI and transitions look a lot more smooth and attractive than the BlackBerry Storm (which has the worst touchscreen UI I've seen). This looks like it's a lot more native for touchscreen, and makes me wonder if RIM will introduce a high-end device that has a full QWERTY in addition to a touchscreen (imagine a current BlackBerry Bold 9700 that had touch - could be strong). However, the biggest addition for BlackBerry 6 will be the Webkit Web browser. Web browsing is the weakest part of current BlackBerry OS and the platform will need a homerun here in order to catch up with iPhone and Android.

10:14 AM: McDowell comes back on stage on and puts the wraps on the general session keynote.

10:01 AM: CSC guy said mobile computing and cloud computing are about "freeing ourself from physical place"

9:56 AM: RIM brings up Jim Cook from CSC to talk about big business software solutions adapting to the mobile world.

9:53 AM: Oracle guy said they are announcing today a developer preview of the new mobile framework for building mobile connections to business software. He said it will go live later this year and said he couldn't legally say when, but mentioned that they have a big conference of their own later this year. He was referring to Oracle Openworld in September.

9:49 AM: Oracle guy is showing off a health care industry app with pretty cool integration with a BlackBerry app. Of course, one of the BlackBerries froze during the demo. He laughed it off pretty well, and then blamed the network.

9:43 AM: On YouTube, RIM has already posted the BlackBerry 6 demo video that Lazaridis showed off during his talk. Kudos to BlackBerry for being new media savvy on this. You can watch the video below:

9:36 AM: RIM brings up Ted Farrell, Oracle's VP of middleware, to show off how BlackBerry is being integrated with enterprise software in more integrated ways

9:33 AM: To get a peak at the BlackBerry 6 demo, check out this gallery of images that PhoneScoop took during the video.

9:30 AM: HP said it will take 3 clicks to print and that there will be a print button integrated into the BlackBerry platform (not sure what that means - a print key on future devices? a standard software print button?)

9:29 AM: This week HP is announcing an HP printing app for BlackBerry that will allow you to print from your smartphone to any Internet connected HP printer.

9:26 AM: HP is offering "Mobility as a Service," mostly running BlackBerries for companies that don't want to manage it themselves. They manage 6 million mailboxes.

9:22 AM: HP also wants to help reduce some of the complexity of running an enterprise mobile infrastructure. Good luck with that. They will need a lot of help from RIM themselves because BlackBerry is really complicated on the back end with BES + Exchange.

9:20 AM: HP wants to see mobile integrate seamlessly into enterprise computing

9:17 AM: Purohit says over the next decade a third of workers will be mobile workers, and this puts additional strain on IT.

9:14 AM: McDowell brings HP's Robin Purohit (VP/GM of software) on stage.

9:13 AM: Now RIM is bring others on stage. Jeff McDowell, senior VP of alliances is up first.

9:07 AM: Lazaridis brings will.i.am on stage; will.i.am says he wants to use the BlackBerry more and more as a content creation tool to bring content directly to the masses

9:06 AM: Reiterated that BlackBerry 6 will launch "next calendar quarter"

9:05 AM: OS 6 includes BlackBerry's new Webkit Web browser, redesigned home screen, high fidelity screen, new UI optimized for touch screens, cool new transitions, integrated social media features, improved multimedia features

9:04 AM: "BlackBerry 6" is official branding

9:03 AM: "The whole company is so excited about what we've accomplished" [with OS 6]

9:01 AM: Said BlackBerry OS 6 needed to be familiar but also cool and fun, exciting to users; ; video of OS 6 playing now

9:00 AM: Proud to show the BlackBerry 6 OS, "the biggest step forward" for the platform

9:00 AM: "Now I'd like to talk to you about where we're going from here."

8:58 AM: Also announced the Bold 9700 in white. That's new (not announced yesterday). He said it will bring the powerful Bold to a lot new users (I'm not sure color is that important for driving NEW users, but some existing users will certainly like it).

8:57 AM: Now he's playing up the BlackBerry Bold 9650 (announced yesterday)

8:56 AM: He said users want choice and BlackBerry wants to give them a variety of products to choose from.

8:55 AM: Said five of the top 10 selling smartphones in the U.S. are BlackBerries and Curve is the no. 1 seller.

8:51 AM: E-mail was the original BlackBerry "super app" and now developers can use the BlackBerry platform to build their own "super apps." I heard this from BlackBerry product people yesterday. They said "Super Apps" is about giving developers the opportunity to do push notification and interact with other apps.

8:50 AM: Says BlackBerry will have "the best apps, and not the most apps"

8:49 AM: "Today you're going to see some amazing new software, some exciting new smartphones"

8:48 AM: Predicts BlackBerry will have 100 million users. No timeframe

8:47 AM: There are 41 million BlackBerry users, 10 million BlackBerries sold in Q

8:46 AM: Show time. Opening video is playing and Mike Lazaridis is coming on stage.

8:38 AM: Lots of people still coming in. Doesn't look like standing room only yet. Just announced that we will start in "a few minutes."

8:28 AM: RIM just announced over the intercom that they are expecting record attendance for the event and asked people to move toward the middle of the aisles to make room for more people to sit. The room is pretty packed (not nearly as big as the giant Moscone Center keynote venues, though).

Intro: We will be live blogging the WES 2010 keynote address of RIM Co- CEO Mike Lazaridis on Tuesday, April 27, beginning at 8:30 AM. Lazaridis is expected to reveal details about future BlackBerry products, the upcoming BlackBerry OS 6.0, and the road map of the platform.

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