Enterprise Mobility: BlackBerry PlayBook, Bold 9900, Microsoft Alliance Top Lazaridis Keynote
Lazaridis takes the keynote stage around 9 a.m.
Lazaridis Launches Barrage of Statistics
Lazaridis reveals the up-to-date RIM BlackBerry statistics. Normally 15 million smartphones sold in a quarter is great, but RIM is being squeezed by Apple's iPhone and Android handsets, which combined to sell more than twice that number in the same quarter.
Talking Up the PlayBook
Lazaridis then trumpets the PlayBook, using bits of quotes from various reviews. The quotes are positive, but most of the reviews he cited were overall much more critical. Lazaridis said there are more than 3,000 PlayBook applications to date. That compares to some 70,000 for Apple's iPad and just over 100 apps for the Motorola Xoom and other Android 3.0 tablets.
RIM Presentations in 3D
RIM decided to offer some of the presentation in 3D. Everyone got to don 3D glasses to see PlayBook apps and other slides pop off the screen. Excuse the blurriness of a 2D camera shot taken of 3D imagery.
Lazaridis talks up the PlayBook's ability to run multiple apps at the same time. This may be a hardware and software acceleration feat, but most users won't multitask the way RIM is describing it, that is, letting users watch a movie while browsing the Web. People only have two eyes.
Docs-to-go premium suite is included free in the PlayBook for productivity workers.
But PlayBook isn't just about work, Lazaridis assured the audience. Users may also enjoy social networking via the new Facebook app for PlayBook.
Gaming is also a treat.
Lazaridis said the PlayBook Angry Birds application is coming. Yes!
BlackBerry Bold 9900
Lazaridis shows the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone, which is the thinnest ever built by the company. Bold 9900 includes search by voice, near field communications, a free premium version of Docs-to-go and Mobilizy's Wikitude augmented reality app.
Adobe's Shantanu Narayen joins Lazaridis on stage. He began touting Flash's performance on the PlayBook, which is arguably the best on any tablet. How big a deal is this considering Apple's iPad doesn't support Flash? That's for you to decide.
Flash on PlayBook
Narayen said Adobe is now shipping Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 with out-of-box development support for the PlayBook, following in June with an open-source Framework for BlackBerry PlayBook's QNX operating system.
Microsoft Steve Ballmer
Surprise! Steve Ballmer joined Lazaridis on stage.
Ballmer on Mobile
Ballmer dings Google: "Over the past few years, suffice it to say, we've seen numerous mobile phone platforms emerge. Certainly Android, the volumes have risen, but there is ensuing chaos that has caused a level of frustration, let's just say, with developers and consumers alike." On Apple: "Apple's platform has certainly offered opportunity for application developers, but there are a very limited set of ways to collaborate and extend the experiences of their device for businesses and consumers."
Ballmer on Bing
Ballmer says Bing search and maps will be default applications on BlackBerry phones going forward. No financial terms were disclosed.
Microsoft Bing Distinguished Engineer Blaise Ag??era y Arcas shows how users may search for restaurants via Bing on a BlackBerry Torch.
Bing Maps on the BlackBerry Torch to help users get their bearings.
Also, users may access local Bing Deals from a BlackBerry going forward.