It was in August that we had first reported of such a move on part of Research In Motion – that they now have access to the QNX Operating System after having acquired the QNX Software Systems, which will be made the default OS in all future products from the Canada based company. While we all know the recently launched tablet PC – PlayBook – from RIM employs a version of the QNX software, what is all the more interesting is the recent revelation that the QNX operating system will eventually take over from all the legacy BlackBerry OS that, until now, can be seen running the show in the entire range of BlackBerry smartphones. However, this isn’t something that is likely to happen overnight as the entire switch over can be a long drawn process.
The confirmation came at the BlackBerry Developer’s Conference (DEVCON) in San Francisco when a senior RIM executive let it slip that the QNX Operating System will be the standard OS in all BlackBerry branded tablets or smartphones of the future. It can be mentioned here that the BlackBerry OS 6 is being rolled out right now. The switch over to the QNX Operating System should start trickling in by the time BlackBerry OS 6 has already done its job and is ready to be retired. So it’s BlackBerry OS 7 that is being seen as a stepping stone for incorporating the QNX Operating System into BlackBerry branded devices.
The change is hardly surprising. On the contrary, it’s something that many look forward to and wish it would happen earlier than the couple of years time frame that is being projected right now. The reason is simple in that the QNX Operating System scores heavily on the user friendly aspects and even though the focus continues to be on the professional, there are plenty of things to keep the non-professionals engaged. For example, compatibility with 3D gaming with POSIX, along with the support for OpenGL that comes with the device.
Then there are also strong reasons for manufacturers (read RIM) to also adopt the QNX Operating System. The primary reason being that the entire Operating System is designed to deliver its functionalities with a set of microkernel and not with a single kernel. The advantages of such a design is obvious as this enables the hardware manufacturers to adopt the Operating System that meets their specific requirements. It’s like they can have a scaled down version of the operating system by letting go of those aspects that are not required. Similarly, more functions can be added to it by modifying it suitably. It’s actually the scalability factor that can be considered the biggest advantage of the QNX operating system.
The version of the QNX Operating System used on the PlayBook Tablet PC is able to support accelerated 3D graphics, HD video, as well as Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Flash, and HTML5 along with touchscreen operations. All of which are onviously essential in a tablet environment.
Research In Motion though, hasn’t yet officially confirmed or denied any such development on part of the company.
RIM had acquired the QNX Software in April in a deal worth $200 million. The company has extensive expertise in the development of software that finds applications in real time scenarios that can be as diverse as in-car infotainment systems to real time applications such as in-flight system, nuclear establishment monitoring, or even critical healthcare systems.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email