BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system, developed by Research In Motion for its BlackBerry line of smartphone handheld devices. The operating system provides multitasking and supports specialized input devices that have been adopted by RIM for use in its handhelds, particularly the trackwheel, trackball, and most recently, the trackpad and touchscreen.
The BlackBerry platform is perhaps best known for its native support for corporate email, through MIDP 1.0 and, more recently, a subset of MIDP 2.0, which allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise email, calendar, tasks, notes, and contacts, when used with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The operating system also supports WAP 1.2.
Updates to the operating system may be automatically available from wireless carriers that support the BlackBerry over the air software loading (OTASL) service.
Third-party developers can write software using the available BlackBerry API classes, although applications that make use of certain functionality must be digitally signed. As of 2011, many developers are using the BlackBerry platform to develop their applications. A June 2011 research indicates that approximately 45% of mobile developers were using the platform at the time of publication.
While RIM develops and releases updated versions of its operating system to support each device, it is up to the individual carriers to decide if and when a version is released to its users. On April 2010 RIM announced the new BlackBerry OS 6.0 version, which was released in the 3rd quarter 2010. Rumours of an OS 6.1 began in 2011 along with images of the new software. On May 2nd 2011, RIM later announced it as BlackBerry OS 7. It would be released in Summer 2011. RIM announced that current devices would not be updated to BlackBerry OS 7 (No Legacy Device Support). RIM also announced the release of a BlackBerry Bold Touch (Blackberry Bold 9930 & 9900) which would be running Blackberry OS 7.