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JP Mercier

Will 2012 be the Year of BlackBerry OS 10?

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Only a couple of weeks ago, just about everyone in the blogosphere was saying that Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, would be introducing the much-anticipated Blackberry OS 10at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Well, the congress has come and gone. And it appears that just about everyone was wrong.

Including RIM itself. In fact, a RIM spokesman stated earlier this year that “2012 will be the year of BlackBerry 10 so we’ll be showcasing the capabilities of our future operating system as well as demonstrating the power of BlackBerry 7, with a particular focus on NFC and BBM connected apps… Research In Motion will be there [at the congress] in force.”

So what happened? ¿Por qué no OS 10 in Barcelona?

To be fair, RIM did warn us months ago that the OS 10 wouldn’t appear on devices until this fall. Throw in the fact that the BlackBerry 10 has been MIA for a few months and it looks like everyone got a bit too excited for their own good. It’s no secret that the OS 10 has already encountered some serious hurdles, starting with RIM having to give up the operating system’s original name, BBX, following a trademark dispute in Canada.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT OS 10

Not much. At least not officially—launch date included.

That said, rumour has it that the OS 10 won’t show up on RIM’s first QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone until later this year, possibly even as late as Q4. Many insiders are predicting that this will be a make-or-break release for RIM. Perhaps even more so because this is also when Microsoft is slated to launch its Windows Phone 8. (Whether consumers will adopt the Windows Phone platform is a subject for another day).

SNEAK PEAK AT THE OS 10

In mid-February, Crackberry, the blog about all things Blackberry, posted 10 images of the new OS 10. How did it get these images? Crackberry claims it was emailed a 14-page PDF file prepared by “one of RIM’s external ad agency partners” that apparently show the new operating system in action.

Anyone else smell a marketing ploy?

Slick marketing stunt or not, it looks like RIM has some pretty exciting things in store—provided these images are the real McCoy.

SherWeb, BlackBerry, New OS 10, Hosted Exchange

New-and-improved home screen - Source: pocket-lint.com

1. A new-and-improved home screen heavily inspired by the BlackBerry PlayBook, complete with Android-style widgets with similar functionality as those of Windows Phone 7′s Live Tiles—a feature that has long been rumored. This image alone suggests a major shift in how BlackBerry mobiles will soon operate.

SherWeb, BlackBerry, New OS 10, Hosted Exchange

OS 10 and Video Chat - Source: pocket-lint.com

2. A much more modern phone, with clear pictures and a sleek caller display screen. And is that an icon for video chat? Looks like the front-facing camera on the BlackBerry 10 will come in handy after all. Video calling is already built into the PlayBook OS, so it’s no surprise that RIM would include it on the OS 10.

SherWeb, BlackBerry, New OS 10, Hosted Exchange

Universal Inbox - Source: pocket-lint.com

3. A universal inbox like the one on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, along with a nicer text font and easier-to-understand contact screens. (And by the way, see the names of the people within the email app on the image? If you Google search for Erica Josefsson, it will bring you to her Linked in Profile which shows she’s part of RIM’s User Experience Team based out of Malmo, Sweden. Berry interesting indeed…)

OS 10: HEAVILY INSPIRED BY PLAYBOOK

These images suggest that BlackBerry 10 is slowly abandoning its earlier operating systems and borrowing heavily from the PlayBook OS. So far, these changes have won the approval of pundits at Crackberry, Gizmodo and PCMag.

Which is all fine and dandy. But RIM fans really want to know is: “When can I get my hands on one?”

[Based on these leaked images, will 2012 be the year of the BlackBerry OS 10?]

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JP Mercier

About JP Mercier

JP is SherWeb’s community manager. He has been working for IT companies since 2010, in both the software and cloud computing industry. JP has a degree in communication and specializes in online marketing. As a good Canadian, he is (overly) polite and loves hockey.

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