Mobile and Wireless: BlackBerry 10 Is Front and Center for RIM in Orlando
Research In Motion kicked off BlackBerry World 2012 by sharing what many of the attendees packing an Orlando conference center May 1 had come for: a peek at the BlackBerry 10 platform and newest BlackBerry handset, the Dev Alpha. While assuring the audience that the Dev Alpha was not final, and would change a bit before its year-end launch, new CEO Thorsten Heins, with help from Vivek Bhardwaj, head of software at RIM, showed off a boxy, not-so-slim phone running an operating system that at a glance seems a variation of Microsoft's Windows Phone, with tiles as opposed to icons. Bhardwaj also showed off improvements to the keypad, which he said learns about a user over time, becoming more custom, "like a glove." RIM executives also talked up Mobile Fusion, which by this time next year will, in addition to being an on-premise solution, be offered as a managed service or as cloud-based solution. There was also talk about the BlackBerry tablet, which one RIM executive called "the on-ramp to BlackBerry 10." Ultimately, Heins and his team made the BlackBerry environment seem a rather compelling place to be: "Let's rock and roll this!" he fist-pumped in conclusion, with a boyish smile. Now, to convince the rest of the world.