RIM has announced its entry into the tablet market -- or at least its intention to enter the tablet market early next year -- and as predicted, the BlackBerry PlayBook won't be so much a scaled-up smartphone as a stepbrother to the existing phone line. It will have an entirely new operating system (a version of the recently acquired QNX dubbed "Tablet OS") unrelated to the familiar but long-in-the-tooth BlackBerry OS.
The PlayBook's target audience of business consumers won't care much about the technical details -- but for the all-important developer community, the move is a disruptive one. It's also another nail in the coffin of Oracle's Java ME platform.
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The operating system for BlackBerrys has become an anomaly of late; its app development platform has to this point faithfully stuck by Oracle's mobile Java platform, which has become increasingly sidelined in the world of modern smartphones. (The Android platform is based on a modified version of desktop Java, which avoids the need to pay licensing feeds to Oracle, one of the factors behind the Oracle-Google lawsuit.)