Feeds

RIM: We can't flog phones, would you like our nuke plant OS instead?

QNX licences up for grabs to anyone with a chequebook

The essential guide to IT transformation

Troubled phone biz Research in Motion wants to license its new BlackBerry 10 operating system to anyone who can afford it in the hope of climbing out of its rut.

RIM has coyly rebuffed rumours of companies wanting to use its mobile OS, and has tried to focus on its own phone handset launches with the new software. But now chief exec Thorsten Heins has said, in an interview with Bloomberg, that his firm will consider pimping out BlackBerry 10 after all.

At the heart of BB 10 is Unixish operating system QNX: this is a neat little real-time microkernel-powered bit of tech that's aimed at cars, music players, military drones, nuclear power plants and other embedded electronics. It was snapped up by RIM in 2010 and immediately put to use in the BlackBerry Playbook tablet.

“QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector - we could do that with BB10 if we chose to,” Heins beamed. “The platform can be licensed.”

The new operating system has been delayed one time too many for investors, who have been shifting their shares in droves as the Canadian company's phones fail to excite consumers. BB10 is supposed to be the magic bullet that turns the one-time smartphone king around, but punters have been buying Apple and Android mobes while RIM's QNX-in-a-dress is busy scrubbing up.

The interview with Bloomberg was more about telling as many people as possible that RIM's OS, and everything else, is on the table, so if you're in the process of developing an embedded system and don't fancy using a tiny Linux, QNX rival VxWorks nor Google's Android, then RIM would be delighted to talk to you, as long as you've "ten sovereigns bright".

Licensing out an OS that would interact with RIM's still-popular messaging platform BBM, and the company's Enterprise Server app platform, would be contentious: those are the products that still attract users to BlackBerry, along with its unparalleled focus on security, so making them available to other manufacturers would turn RIM into a platform company which might not be a bad thing but remains entirely theoretical for the moment.

Samsung is one of the rumoured firms that could be interested in slapping BB10 into its gear, being an equal opportunities OS user with phones running Android, Windows and its own system Bada.

Meanwhile, IBM could be keen on hoovering up its enterprise services unit if that came on the market.

No one seems to be interested in taking on RIM's mobile-making biz, however, though the company has said that once BB10 comes along, it can swing that business around and hang onto it. But lately, the company line has shifted to chatting about "beyond smartphones" and "expanding product lines" and other euphemisms that suggest the firm could leave mobile-making behind, or at least reduce its importance. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?