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BlackBerry OS 7 “Highlander” to Meld OS 6.1 and QNX Together

There can be only one Highlander BlackBerry OS

We have been hearing so much conflicting information on the upcoming BlackBerry OS 6.1 and OS 7 making it hard to break fact from fiction. We just heard from one of our sources who passed along the gist of CTO of software, David Yach, keynote at RIM’s internal RDX dev conference today. Here are some highlights from his keynote though he kind of jumped around a bit:

  • A big portion of the talk is focusing on the benefit RIM will get from centralizing processes and tools. (what RIM’s COO of product engineering, Thorsten Heins,said yesterday)
  • One of the key reasons OS 6.1 is falling behind schedule is miscommunication between teams in the critical path of the project
  • He didn’t focus on the problems as much as how RIM is going to solve them by easing conflicts in the critical path

The second part of the keynote is where things got interesting talking about OS 7 and OS 6.1:

  • There is a new project “Highlander” using the concept from the movies “There can be only one”
  • This project is taking the best features from OS 6.1 and the QNX OS to make OS 7. This seems to be where the rumors about OS 6.1 having a QNX core are coming from
  • RIM is “very happy” with OS 6.1 but it struggling with losing the features users love
  • OS 6.1 is almost 10 years old and has pushed its limits
  • Still they are very happy about the “Liquid Graphics” in OS 6.1 adding a WOW factor to BlackBerrys
  • This new OS 7 will also be the OS for the Playbook down the road. Seeing the theme of  "there can be only one" ?
  • RIM is still in the “early stages” of OS 7 with a target of 2012

I am really loving the Highlander references and think RIM should actually give their OS builds a name. For example, OS 6.0 could be Phoenix… 🙂 So what do you think of the info passed along? It is second hand so its hard to analyze properly but still I am really excited to see RIM has a plan for 2011 and 2012. Here is to hoping they execute it correctly!

20 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Highlander!! Thats awesome. I am picturing blackberries with swords fighting each other!


  2. “OS 6.1 is almost 10 years old and has pushed its limits” What? It hasn’t been released yet!!

  3. 7 is Highlander, there can be only one, but it is us getting the Prize! 😀

    That all suits me well. 6.1 for the new and for the late 2010/early 2011 devices.

    OS 7 for PlayBook and 7-based handhelds by 2012.

    Sounds like a plan, as long as the wow factor works.

    And it better as I won’t buy another BlackBerry untill 7 is out…

  4. I also love the name. They could do some cool marketing with that. Better than they did with the Storm and Storm 2 😛

    So I guess the PlayBook will see OS 1.x, maybe OS 2, and then jump up to OS 7? Fine by me.

  5. like the highlander name!

  6. “RIM is “very happy” with OS 6.1 but it struggling with losing the features users love”

    Not sure what this means, but people jumping ship should tell them that a big part of their base doesn’t care about “features users love.” I say to hell with legacy… this is what kills companies because it is outside firms that are then left to make disruptive changes.

    RIM needs to get over the fear of disruptive change and go for wow!

    The only thing they likely need to keep (on the software side) is secure email. If they have that, it’s still a BB. Hardware – keep their great keyboards.

    • Technically if you say “to hell with legacy” then you don’t even need to include keyboards anymore…

      The trends are moving away from them, which is why I don’t really approve of that logic.

  7. On the positive side, it seems like we’ll get a nice UI in 6.1 — Happy! 🙂

  8. pretty cool info!!

  9. RIM needs to turn up the marketting machine. This stuff is solid Gold. What better way to galvanize the geek community than referencing Highlander!

  10. wow this will be interesting, I am holding off for a QNX phone… maybe RIM is going to make me wait longer!!

    • Maybe I won’t upgrade at all this year. Sounds like 6.1 is a waste of a 2-year contract if 7 will be out next year. I probably couldn’t get much money for an obsolete 6.1 device that is less than a year old once 7 is out.

  11. I need to pick a product and stick with it so I choose OS 6.1 will be it when I leave off of OS 7.

    Yeah, I agree they should use names for OS builds.

  12. They better hurry up and cut the commercials. Sean Connery isn’t getting any younger!

  13. Can anyone comment on why the new OS is called 6.1 if it’s supposed to be a major upgrade and then we go to 7. I mean are they afraid of running out of numbers?

    To me it just shows RIM is a tech-geek company and not on top of marketing yet.

    Like look at the cool news OS on BB phones, 6.1 huh?

    Look at the new OS7 on BB phones! More exciting.

    • I think it could be due to rim wanting to reserve the next whole no for a whole os refresh. Maybe 6.1 will come for phones running 6 too.. 😛

  14. I can’t wait – an OS thar combines the best features of QNX and 6.0 OS, fantastic. This will blow away any IOS Apple can come up with. Although, I don’t understand why someone would upgrade with OS 7 around the corner, unless your able to upgrade to 7.0 when it comes out. Hopefully, they get rid of the hourglass freeze for good.

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