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 Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.