RIM’s new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, sat down with Al Sacco @CIO for a quick interview on the future of BlackBerry. Most of it seems to cover the same topics we heard at DevCon but there were a few tidbits that are worth pointing out. Alec continues to stress that BlackBerry OS 7 and current devices will “be in market for some time” but we will “see a natural evolution away from the BlackBerry OS Platform” to BBX. The thing is that Alec told Al that:
Unfortunately, because current BlackBerry OS devices do not have dual-core chips they won’t be able to run the new BBX OS, which is designed to run on devices with dual-core CPUs.
We have heard this line a few times all the way up to Mike Lazaridis but then the Colt demo BBX device that is floating around behind the scenes as a developer unit only has a single core. That makes it sound like current BlackBerry 7 devices are never going to see BBX. On the other hand that sort of makes sense since things like bezel gestures don’t exist on current hardware. Alec also confirmed that BBX phones at launch will support BES and native PIM along with BlackBerry bridge for tablets in case companies want to use that for security reasons.
Alec also covered development and said that it was a really tough decision for RIM to not support the BlackBerry JDE on BBX. According to him RIM “worked really hard to get the JDE environment on BBX” but it didn’t work out. Alec also confirmed that the BlackBerry 7 liquid graphics (read OpenGL) engine stopped RIM from being able to release a Theme Studio dev environment for developers. Supposedly those tools will come in mid-2012 which is a far way off. Al smartly asked how RIM developed the Porsche theme used in the new BlackBerry P’9981 and it turns out that RIM has an internal theme development building tool but it is not shared.