08/08/2010: When I wrote the following post RIM was calling the new version of the Device Software 'BlackBerry 6' and I confirmed with Mike Kirkup (the Director of RIM's ISV Alliances team) before writing the post that it was still being called BlackBerry Device Software 6. Apparently between the time I wrote it and the release of the device, RIM changed their minds and started calling it BlackBerry 6 OS. They've NEVER called it the OS previously - but perhaps since Apple does it they thought they'd do the same.
I've been trying not to vent too much here anymore. I realized I was being pretty negative and vowed to publish articles that might really interest people. Unfortunately I can't pass on the opportunity to comment about the market's response to BlackBerry Device Software 6.0.
For BoxTone, Vox Mobile and all of those other companies that have hosted webinars on what happened at WES and for BlackBerry Cool and all of those other sites publishing news about BlackBerry - it's NOT called BlackBerry OS 6, it's BlackBerry Device Software 6. Just to make sure I didn’t miss Research In Motion changing what they called it, I confirmed with the ISV team last week that it’s called BlackBerry Device Software 6.
The BlackBerry Device Software is the suite of applications that provides the UI and applications the user interacts with on a BlackBerry device. The BlackBerry OS runs underneath the BlackBerry Device Software and provides the OS kernel and a suite of services (low-level routines) that are available to other applications. The BlackBerry Device Software is likely (although I haven’t confirmed this) written in Java and the BlackBerry OS would likely be written in the native machine language for the device (processor). The two work together, but they’re very different things.
First of all, the developer really can’t code to the OS, he or she codes to the BlackBerry Device Software and the Device Software interfaces with the OS at some lower level. When Research In Motion releases the Java development tools – they release them in conjunction with a BlackBerry Device Software release, not an OS release. It’s the libraries published through the BlackBerry Device Software that a developer uses to build an application.
If you take a look at the screen shot that follows, you’ll see that my BlackBerry Bold 9700 is running BlackBerry Device Software 22.214.171.1245 (basically BlackBerry Device Software 5.0) and Platform 126.96.36.199. The platform then is the BlackBerry OS version.
If you look at this and think about what’s coming out in the next month or so, you should expect then that the above screen for a yet to be announced device would show v6.0.0.x (or something like that) for the BlackBerry Device Software and most likely a Platform of 5.2.x.x.x (which is the device OS).