QNX founder confident BlackBerry 10 will be impressive

    Dan dodgeWhen Dan Dodge was asked at the BlackBerry Jam Americas (San Jose, California) conference how he feels now that the future of Research In Motion (RIM) is in his hands, he replied that he believes in success. Dan Dodge spoke about the QNX operating system , which will become the engine and transmission of the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone

    . The OS was developed by a company founded by Dodge two years after graduating from Waterloo University in 1979, which Dan graduated with degrees in mathematics and computer science. Over the next 19 years since its founding, Dodge, QNX, has become a company with more than 200 employees, with major customers in the automotive industry, online networks, casinos and even retail books. “What we create is unlike anything,” said QNX Software Systems CEO . “It's really unique and exclusive.”

    “It's hard to buy a car without the QNX system installed in it,” said Dodge in an interview at the BlackBerry Jam conference. And as if to confirm these words, a black Porsche equipped with QNX was demonstrated at the conference.

    Porsche equipped with QNX RTOS
    At the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference in San Jose, California, a Porsche car equipped with the QNX RTOS was introduced - the BlackBerry 10 smartphone will be running on it. The

    QNX runs the OnStar security system , which notifies General Motors when one of its customers encounters trouble on the road or with any airbag deployment. QNX also manages the “entertainment” systems in the car and its speakerphone for mobile phones.

    The QNX software used to solve mission-critical tasks manages the switches and routers in Cisco's huge network systems.and slot machines at the Las Vegas casino. “People use QNX where the cost of error is very high,” said Dan Dodge, who built his first computer while living at the University of Waterloo's UW dormitory . “People are looking for reliability, and this is one of the reasons why automakers love us so much.”

    David johnstonBased in Ottawa, QNX would have followed its successful path, which had nothing to do with the world of smartphones, if not for an accidental turn of events three years ago. QNX was acquired by Harman International Industries in 2004.- A large American media company that produces audio and infotainment systems for cars, houses and theaters. Harman gave QNX more freedom, and even allowed the sale of software to its competitors. However, by 2009, some of QNX's customers began to complain that their main suppliers belong to a competitor. In this situation, Dodge offered to resell QNX to another company. One of the firms on the QNX shortlist was RIM. Dodge asked David Johnston ( by David Johnston ), who at the time was president of the UW, to arrange a meeting with the founder of RIM Mike Lazaridis ( Officers Mike Lazaridis) “He really liked what he saw,” Dodge said of Lazaridis. The transaction took place in record time, and was closed in the spring of 2010.

    Mike Lazaridis and Dan Dodge with keynote address at Dev Con 2010The initial plan for Lazaridis for QNX was to create an operating system for the PlayBook , a tablet company RIM. This was when it was not yet decided whether QNX will be in the next generation of BlackBerry smartphones. “First we had to show ourselves on the tablet,” said Dodge. “But as soon as we established ourselves there, we got the full advance for the phones.”

    Dodge was outraged by the criticism that initially the PlayBook was not competitive. “The PlayBook sells exceptionally well and outperforms the Samsung Galaxy tablet,” he said. “The only mistake RIM made was launching a tablet without enough apps or games,” says Dodge. "It is unpleasant. But RIM corrected the situation with the release of the PlayBook 2.0 update, for which there are “a huge number of applications,” including several big names in the gaming industry, ”said Dodge.

    Dan Dodge also rejects the view that RIM made a mistake by not emailing in the first version of the PlayBook. “It was easily accessible, just by connecting the BlackBerry to the PlayBook,” he said. “We thought it was actually the best solution, because why do you need two emails when you really only need one? But when users began to complain, and RIM was criticized in the media, the company went to meet and included email in the PlayBook 2.0. It all ended up with a blessing in disguise, ”said Dodge,“ because the email system in the new BlackBerry 10 “originated in the tablet.”

    Not surprisingly, RIM eventually decided to create a completely new smartphone operating system, Dodge said. He explains that the 1999 BlackBerry was created primarily as a communications device to handle things like email. When smartphones became more functional and were able to cope with a number of applications and quickly browse the Internet, they essentially became mobile computing platforms, rather than email systems.

    “The original RIM operating system was not designed for this,” Dodge said. “Trying to do this would be too difficult, perhaps even impossible. And then the company decided that they should create a new system that could handle what is expected in the next generation of smartphones, ”he said. “This is what we have contributed. We had an industrial, high-performance, reliable operating system that could compete with iOS (the iPhone operating system.) The key advantage of the QNX operating system is that it uses a "microkernel" architecture . Instead of "monolithic"execution, like many software platforms, it breaks down the system into smaller components so that you can easily add new features or rewrite code for new applications. Monolithic systems, such as the old RIM BlackBerry platform, could not cope with the new features, because the old development was no longer relevant, and the system became so complex and poorly coordinated with the new features that no one understood them. At the same time, monolithic operating systems become poorly structured ( "spaghetti-like") and are very resistant to change. Even worse, they cannot be broken down into components to safely accommodate all the new additional features, ”said Dodge. “It’s easier to add a component to a system built as a Lego constructor than to one that is poured like a concrete slab.”

    Dodge rejects the conclusions of some analysts that RIM did not show anything new on the BlackBerry Jam Americas, which would not have been used in other smartphones. “Several analysts and other people came up to me, and they were impressed with how RIM develops BlackBerry 10. In the end, everything will be clear when entering the market, and if the market appreciates our contribution to it, we will do it exceptionally well.” , he said. “And if the press and analysts give us a break and write some positive articles, this will certainly also help.”

    Focusing on RIM products also means big changes in QNX. Several hundred employees continue to support former customers, primarily automobile manufacturers. But most QNX engineers, backed by RIM employees, work primarily on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and now on the BlackBerry 10.

    // The Record

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