Messing Up The OS Roadmap
Going into the show, BlackBerry users knew this: OS 6.1 would be a minor upgrade, and OS 7 would unite the BlackBerry and PlayBook tablet operating systems, since PlayBook uses the real-time Linux called QNX. A unified platform was necessary for RIM; it could not ask developers to write for two different operating systems when they already support iOS and Android.
A funny thing happened on the way to Orlando. RIM nixed that plan, changed 6.1 to 7.0, said it would not be the OS to unite the platforms, and gave no indication of when the unified OS would ship.
OS 6.1 7.0 is expected to be a lot faster, with higher resolution graphics, improved Web performance and compliance with HTML standards, more personalization and voice enabling of the Universal Search feature.
But this leaves the PlayBook high and dry (sort of…). It's a new, separate platform. Currently it has next to no native apps on it, and its App Store is fairly empty. The justification for the PlayBook was supposed to be a BlackBerry-like experience on a larger screen, but right now, it's just a tablet with no apps and that wait appears to have gotten longer.