RIM To Use QNX OS For Blackberry Tablet PC?

RIM may well turn to popular real-time OS, QNX instead of its Blackberry OS 6. to power its forthcoming Blackberry tablet computer according to three separate sources close to the plans of the Canadian company.

Bloomberg's Hugo Miller writes that the firm will use the embedded RTOS platform, which it purchased from Harman International Industries for $200 million in April 2010.

QNX is a microkernel-based OS which supports a wide range of platforms including ARM, PowerPC, x86 and MIPS and shares common roots with Unix (and therefore Linux). Like RIM, QNX is based in Canada as well, which made the purchase altogether easier.

The RTOS is used primarily in embedded platforms like cars, airplanes, tanks and everything that does not require a disk to be used. RIM's choice could have been motivated by a desire to keep selling price and resource utilisation low.

It is not known whether parts of QNX will be used in the next version of the Blackberry OS or whether RIM will manage two different OS platforms; something that's counterproductive in the long run.

RIM has already registered the name Blackpad and has acquired the domain name Blackpad.com.

Bloomberg however points to the fact that RIM is keen to distinguish its new tablet computer from Apple's iPad, which may mean that the Blackpad may turn up to be nothing more than a Palm Foleo clone without a keyboard.