Chatting with @Scobleizer about RIM

by alec on February 17, 2012

“So, did you see what I wrote?”, he asked?

And that’s how my conversation with @scobleizer started.  I had dropped him a note a couple of weeks ago when our Alex Kinsella and he were having a little dust up on twitter, and suggested we grab some time.  Today was the day.

“Yes, I saw what you wrote.  And I disagree.  There’s no money, Robert, in being just another undifferentiated Android handset.”

“But developers are abandoning BlackBerry, everywhere”, he said.  And when I countered that wasn’t the case, two sell-out developer conferences in Asia and Europe being the evidence, Scoble opined that eventually developers in other parts of the world would do as the developers he knew had.

I believe that if we did nothing, the world would unfold as Robert said.  But we’re not doing nothing. We’re running successful events, seeding devices, and building up evangelism teams across the globe.  No doubt, it’s a fight, but we’re focused on retaining our existing developers and growing our ecosystem.

We’ve got two key weapons in that fight.

Open Standards.  After iOS and Android, the next thing developers are focused on is HTML5, because they’re looking for a solution that will let them target multiple handset vendors, not just one.  RIM has, hands-down, the best implementation of HTML5 in mobile today.  PlayBook OS 2.0 benchmarks better than any other mobile implementation (just point your PlayBook at HTML5Test.com), and better than every desktop browser, except Chrome 16. It also includes WebGL for accelerated 3D graphics, and with WebWorks, we can free HTML5 code from the browser, let you upload it to AppWorld, and turn that HTML5 website into a revenue generating HTML5 application.  How ‘bout them apples?

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For those that really want performance, PlayBook OS and our upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS are POSIX operating systems that you program with C and C++. Another open standard, with over 30 years of code written that’s compliant.   As one blogger recently wrote, Cross Platform Begins With C.

Soon we’ll add our secret sauce – a graphical UX framework called Cascades.  Stay tuned for that!

Open Communities.  One of the things that we’ve worked hard at is to embrace communities of developers.  So, you can build applications on our platforms using Flash, Android, gaming frameworks like Marmalade, Unity, and Shiva3d, open source like Qt, Boost, Cocos2dx, scripting languages like Lua, and so on.  If you’ve got a code base that you’d like to bring to BlackBerry, we want to help.

Open Source, Open Communities, and Open Standards like HTML5, C and C++ running on a POSIX framework.  What’s more mom and apple pie than that?

We finished up by agreeing to chat again at South by Southwest.

It wasn’t my intent to change Scoble’s mind today, but rather to engage in a conversation.  It’s time for us to start a dialog with the Valley, and what better way than by starting with one of the Valley’s most prominent voices?

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