SAN FRANCISCO--Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced that its forthcoming BBX operating system won't run native Java applications built to for the company's previous BlackBerry 6 or current BlackBerry 7 operating systems.
"We concluded that it wasn't an experience we wanted to deliver to our customers," explained Alec Saunders, RIM's vice present of developer relations and ecosystems development. "It would really look like a diminished experience" if existing BlackBerry apps were supported in RIM's forthcoming BBX platform.
RIM disclosed the news here at its BlackBerry developer's conference, where it took the wraps off its BBX platform. BBX is RIM's next-generation operating system that will run its future tablets and smartphones, and is powered by QNX software. The company's PlayBook tablet is also powered by QNX, though the PlayBook only represents just the beginning of the BBX platform. RIM likely will release BBX devices next year.
Saunders explained that BBX would be able to run applications built for its PlayBook tablet and would also be able to run applications built in HTML5. (BBX will also run some Android applications via RIM's new Android player service.)
However, he said BBX would not run native Java applications built for the company's BB6 and BB7 operating systems. RIM is currently selling a variety of BB7 devices through U.S. carriers including AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA. Saunders explained that RIM had considered building an emulator for BB6 and BB7 apps to run in BBX, but that the company decided the result wouldn't meet customer expectations.
Saunders said that the current ecosystem around BB6 and BB7 apps would still generate revenues for developers targeting those platforms for years to come.
"The business isn't going away," he said, noting that Windows XP applications continue to generate big business for PC developers despite Microsoft's move to newer operating systems.
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