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RIM takes BlackBerry 10 out for a spin, forgets to bring phone

Mobile biz has one last throw of the dice

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Video RIM's latest CEO has been showing off what its next OS, BlackBerry 10, will do, although without any hardware it's hard to be impressed by a touchscreen keyboard.

The trinkets came out during the Thorsten Heins' first BlackBerry World keynote, where attendees were given glances of a multitasking interface that involves swiping away foreground apps, and a soft keyboard with predictions above keys instead of the whole board.

But what they didn't get to see was a BlackBerry 10 device and without that it's little more than slideware.

That's a little unfair: developers will get to play with a "BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha" device upon which they can prep their applications in anticipation of the launch of proper hardware later in the year, but that's small consolation for those who were hoping to see some real hardware at the event.

Thorsten Heins has only been RIM's CEO for three months, so it's not his fault there was only a video to show. The presentation does look like a step up from iOS and Android, though, if only because it departs slightly from the touch vocabulary that has become established on the leading platforms.

"We're taking our time to make sure we get this right," he told the audience, which is probably a good thing - patience with RIM is already running out and the company can't afford another PlayBook.

RIM probably has one roll of the dice left to avoid becoming an acquisition, holding the bones a little longer is therefore the right thing to do even if it disappoints those waiting to see how they fall. ®

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