Mike Lazaridis Mentions BlackBerry OS 6 aka BlackBerry 6

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UPDATE: Now the audio is available but we still don’t have the video of the touchscreen demo. From the audio, we now know of few more interesting bits of information. For example, we’ll start seeing App World statistics and apparently they’re pretty good (million downloads per day).

While we haven’t heard any press releases or announcements about OS 6 just yet, Mike Lazaridis announced in an analyst call that OS 6, or BlackBerry 6, will be available “in the next calendar quarter.” With WES going down right now, we can expect to hear more about BlackBerry 6 shortly. We’ve seen the screenshots, and apparently Lazaridis gave a demo of a touchscreen interface running BlackBerry 6.

There is also some pretty big news that we’ll have to confirm tomorrow, which is what devices will be eligible for an OS 6 upgrade, as well as the new Webkit browser. Lazaridis apparently said that the company’s WebKit browser is part of 6, and that the rendering engine has implications throughout the platform. This means that the upcoming WebKit browser may not be available for OS 5 devices. We’re not sure exactly which devices will get an OS 6 upgarde, but Lazaridis says that they’ll “do [their] best,” but he’s not making any guarantees.

  • About the audio and what Lazaridis actually said, I have more on that here:

  • Eric at Ebscer
    I have to say I don't like that they are tying the Browser to the OS. It is simpler for everything, and better for everyone if the two are separate.

    If BBM can be upgraded separately why not the browser?
  • Donny
    Hmm ... lets talk further about what is the "simple" and what is "Best". Kinda like common sense quick decision for short term resolution vs longer and deeper thought not just for short term but for long term.

    Reasons I can see why Webkit Engine vs Browser (your solution for OS 5 & 6).
    * Browser is apart of many current technologies not just web-surfing.
    * Corporate Intranet still deploys intranet sites and applications to browsers on BB:
    RemedyAR, CRM, internal SharePoint & WebSphere/VTR sites need browser & MDS integration (MDS is a component of the full BES solution).
    * HUGE benefits to common browser bug errors: "Uncaught Exception" alone has over 20 related to the browser!!
    * Faster rendering with Tab support - and future Flash playback support within browser (not just launching another app) = less JVM resources and longer garbage collection.
    * Faster response time in navigation and hopefully more powerful File Browser options; maybe even app level password protection that is NATIVE to the BlackBerry platform!
    * Ability to run secure and signed headless applications based on the browser?? not sure about this but possible?
    * Themes that can take advantage of the browser to prefetch data and integrate them to grant more power and real-time data in animated themes or auto updated themes and more power in the UI from the Theme?!
    * What about the built-in proxy? I'm liking how this is going for security ... you data input/output when banking, mutual funds, etc is NO LONGER tied to some 3rd party server in a country that is outside of proper & proven regulatory laws (ahem Opera). you data is YOURS and secured.

    So yeah I'm bummed that OS 5 will not get the Webkit browser engine as a separate app .. but we've done well so far ... we'll be aight until OS 6 is available.
  • papped
    Because it's not being implemented in the way that everyone thought. The webkit rendering engine is being used for more than just the browser, not that the browser is a standalone webkit browser replacement.

    Saying it's better to not have it this way isn't really true considering this means you get extended functionality elsewhere in the OS, that the other situation does not allow.
  • Eric at Ebscer
    But the webkit engine is not being used for anything important, and is still on top of the OS, rather than a true part of it.

    Integrating it like this is just poor design...
  • papped
    According to what, the final layout usage of the entire lifespan of OS6? I don't see how you can possibly draw that conclusion...
  • It will be interesting to see what implications the WebKit engine will have for BlackBerry 6. I think a lot of the "feel" of 6 will be tied to the WebKit rendering engine, and it will do great things for the overall experience.

    It's true that we can't all expect to get these amazing updates with older devices. It could be that even devices such as the Storm2 won't see 6.
  • Andrew
    Exciting news... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that RIM can deliver on time, as promised.
  • kstagg
    So basically, upgrade or die with 5.

    Do I sound cynical? Yeah - but I understand that they can't be beholden to old technology. But I did only buy my 8520 phone in December 2009 and it was released in November 2009. So if it is not compatible with OS 6.0 - I'll be fairly bitter if they tell me it is not compatible. A 6-month old phone should not be old tech.

    I am still holding out hope for some large-screen devices like a Storm 3 or the Portrait Slider we all saw images of, however as I'd like to experience OS 6 with the touch features and Pinch/Zoom.

  • Donny
    You have no reason to feel bitter really. RIM never promised you or anyone that OS 6 - which was a rumor and pipe dream to all of us until today - would be supported on your 8520. Your 8520 is a high-end 2G device living in a 3G world/marketplace and does VERY well feature wise for the small amount of money you paid.

    No company I'm aware of will give you high end new features/functionality for FREE on a low to mid-tier product/service purchase! The odd times yes it occurs and RIM does seem to have this kind of track record and it will take some time ... but do remember you device doesn't even have the screen resolution that the Bold's have.

    Grin & bear it. 6mths from now you'll have more qwan in your pocket to spend on a MUCH better device with double/triple the ram the 9700 has, better styling, faster cpu, and with 802.11N with serious streaming support - with the Storm2 successor with similar screensize it BEGS for this!

    Don't worry you'll be alright as applications will still continue, themes, plugins, and future updates with bug fixes to keep you happy on the 8520 ride.
  • VincentClement
    The only way you could feel bitter is if you were expecting to upgrade to OS6 when you purchased it. If that is not true, what do you care if the phone cannot be upgraded to OS6? When you purchased the phone it must have met most of your needs or wants otherwise why did you buy it?
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