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September 25, 2012 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Research In Motion really, really, really wants developers to stick with them until they launch Blackberry 10. Really. posted by oulipian (59 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's ok, but where's the passion and sweat?
posted by Gary at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmm.
posted by vrakatar at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2012


the desperation, it burns
posted by koeselitz at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Go down swinging, I guess. Seriously, that was pretty cool.
posted by fatbird at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mobile developers are many, many things, but they're not that stupid.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If qualified apps don’t generate $10,000, Heins said RIM would make up the difference.

posted by Ad hominem at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2012


REO Speedwagon sure has aged strangely.
posted by cgk at 1:18 PM on September 25, 2012


Gary: "It's ok, but where's the passion and sweat ?"

Needs remixing.
posted by mullingitover at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe they were inspired by how Microsoft saved Vista with their Springsteenesque Vista SP1 video. (contains no actual Springsteen.
posted by Nelson at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2012


I would have gone with "Black Betty", (whoa Blackberry bam-ba-lam/gotta Blackberry at my job, bam-ba-lam, all my friend got iPhones, bam-ba-lam)
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2012 [29 favorites]


Will Blackberry 10 support the MySpace redesign? As a time traveler from 2004, that's very important to me.
posted by griphus at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


The choice of song is interesting because you need to be older than 40 for it to have any sort of generational resonance with you. The music you hear in your teens is what sticks with you, whether you like it or not. The video seems like an implicit acknowledgement that their devs are a bunch of greybeards who were flirting with retirement.
posted by fatbird at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


awkward.
posted by boo_radley at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2012


Wow I don't even
posted by jquinby at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2012


As a Canadian, I'm offended they used an American band. Surely they should be taking care of business and working overtime on Blackberry 10.
posted by Gary at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


This is a joke right? What kind of rocker does a guitar solo with a wedding ring on?
posted by phaedon at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I loled.

Sent from my iPad.
posted by odinsdream at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


.
posted by brundlefly at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Better than the original song, at least.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


RIM's overall problem is that nobody really buys a blackberry for the apps. In order to change that, they'd have to have lots of really fucking amazing apps that blow everyone's head off. Of course, to get those apps, they have to attract developers away from iOS. But the devs are making money with iOS, and nobody uses blackberry anymore...it's a chicken and egg problem. The problem is, Apple already used the egg to soak up the flour when they were breading RIM's chicken en route to the fryer. It's tasty, btw.
posted by mullingitover at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


As an American, I'm offended they used an American band. Because eww Blackberry.
posted by LordSludge at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


The last gasps of relevance.

As a Canadian, I'm offended they used an American band. Surely they should be taking care of business and working overtime on Blackberry 10.

New World Man by Rush would be far more apt at this point in time. Wise enough to win the world but fool enough to lose it?

They're New World Men. *insert brief but awesome Alex Lifeson riff here*
posted by Talez at 1:26 PM on September 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow. This just hits all the wrong notes.

• Old geeks use Blackberry? Check.
• Geeks seeing themselves as rockstars? Check.
• Using music that gets regularly played on "classic" or "oldies" radio? Check.

Sad.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:28 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey, how about instead of challenging Apple with a phone that can provide directions, we make a music video.
posted by phaedon at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


New World Man by Rush would be far more apt at this point in time.

Hi I'm Geddy Lee and I'm here to tell you why Blackberry 10 isn't a fly by night operation. In fact, Blackberry 10 will make some permanent waves in both hemispheres. On hardware that's good enough to power Windows, you can get moving pictures that look like they've been designed in 2112, and even with processor-heavy apps, it's got grace under pressure. Heed my signals, devs; Blackberry 10 is where its at and I can say that because I'm really broke, seriously, someone licenses Tom Sawyer for something please
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


phaedon: "Hey, how about instead of challenging Apple with a phone that can provide directions, we make a music video."

Hey, Apple is busy challenging Apple to make a phone that can provide directions.
posted by boo_radley at 1:33 PM on September 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


They're in the death spiral, for sure (32GB Playbooks are being closed out at just over $100 here) but - man! - do these Canadian business bods I work with luurrrvve their BlackBerry. They set up complex one-to-many BBM conferences during meetings, which of course (by article of faith) are completely private from the company server and can't be snooped or subpoena'd. They think ...
posted by scruss at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2012


New World Man by Rush would be far more apt at this point in time.

Flash was released in 1980 and so was this song. New World Man might be a little too modern if their head of marketing had graduated by 1982.
posted by Gary at 1:48 PM on September 25, 2012


Well, this is a good sign. The music is much better than their previous effort.
posted by wierdo at 1:53 PM on September 25, 2012


I want BB10 to be awesome and prove everyone so wrong that they feel slightly stupid and ashamed. Not because I love BB, but because I'm convinced that a mobile ecosystem which consists of only two players will, in the end, be very bad for consumers. Especially when one of those players only has two product offerings, which are basically the same except someone hit the "rescale" button.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:53 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm convinced that a mobile ecosystem which consists of only two players will, in the end, be very bad for consumers.

um excuse me
excuse me I'm still
never mind

posted by griphus at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Using music that gets regularly played on "classic" or "oldies" radio? Check.

That's not such a knock against it. The classic rock station in town has been playing Nirvana and Foo Fighters lately, which just makes me feel incredibly old.

Holy crap Nevermind came out 21 years ago yesterday.
posted by figurant at 2:00 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap Nevermind came out 21 years ago yesterday.

Hailie Mathers is SIXTEEN.

Let that sink in.
posted by Talez at 2:07 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The choice of song is interesting because you need to be older than 40 for it to have any sort of generational resonance with you. The music you hear in your teens is what sticks with you, whether you like it or not. The video seems like an implicit acknowledgement that their devs are a bunch of greybeards who were flirting with retirement.

I can't believe nobody has said anything yet, but: whoah.

Ain't too many devs I know that can afford to retire at 40.
posted by Malor at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Some of the lines in that song are more corporate-speak than soulful: "Our Devs are at the heart of our mobile endeavors".

I'm guessing a committee of marketing managers wrote the lyrics.
posted by Triplanetary at 2:17 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Our updated SDK is really cool"

#fail
posted by chavenet at 2:27 PM on September 25, 2012


RIM's overall problem is that nobody really buys a blackberry for the apps.
posted by yoga at 2:31 PM on September 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


The fact that it's pretty obvious everyone in the video is merely mouthing the words and going through the motions - not committing to this thing 100%, but hoping flashy presentation and corporate wording will distract us from the issues - probably goes to show something, though I'm sure I don't know what.
posted by subbes at 2:39 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's got to be no better way to appeal to the hip young mobile app developers of today than by invoking the music they were conceived to.
posted by ardgedee at 2:42 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I used to think you were getting old when your music was on oldies stations.

My mother told me that you're old when your kids are complaining about that.
posted by Malor at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


fatbird: “The choice of song is interesting because you need to be older than 40 for it to have any sort of generational resonance with you. The music you hear in your teens is what sticks with you, whether you like it or not. The video seems like an implicit acknowledgement that their devs are a bunch of greybeards who were flirting with retirement.”

Malor: “I can't believe nobody has said anything yet, but: whoah. Ain't too many devs I know that can afford to retire at 40.”

Well – for one thing, anybody who's 40 today was only 9 years old when that song came out. I suspect that by "older than 40," fatbird meant "a lot older than 40."

But I also think the image is off. I don't think there are many greybeard devs who ever enjoyed REO Speedwagon. Hell, I don't think there are actually any people over 40 who enjoy REO Speedwagon, or even just that song. It seems to be almost exclusively the domain of us thirtysomethings who have the privilege of looking back on the eighties with the kind of vague nostalgia for a time when you were too young to be fully aware of how horrible everything was. Maybe I'm wrong, but everybody in this video seems to be about my age. We're able to enjoy REO Speedwagon ironically.

I guess there may actually be people who were over the age of 25 when that song came out who actually enjoyed it then and still enjoy it now. I don't know any of them, though. And I'm not sure those people would ever admit it; their generation was much better at hiding guilty pleasures.
posted by koeselitz at 2:47 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a developer whose company has needed to have a Blackberry client for our service, the "loving" they speak of seems of the variety forced by an abusive spouse. If you can imagine, the SDK is still based upon APIs that were provided in Java 1.1, in 1997. The consequences of this are huge.
1) There are essentially no open-source libraries that you can use to ease the development pains, since nobody has written code that targets Java 1.1 for over 10 years.
2) Because of lack of reflection APis, it becomes nearly impossible to even develop libraries and frameworks that allow you to use modern programming methodologies such as advanced data storage mechanisms or IoC frameworks.
3) It's nearly impossible to share code between Blackberry and other Java platforms, such as Android. I tried anyway and regretted it.

On top of this, the documentation is error-prone and horribly out of date.
Developer support is mostly limited to a few RIM employees that troll the developer forums with such pithy advice such as, "Ya, we've known about that bug for the last 6 years, it's in our tracker. Stop bugging us about it."
There are still basically no usable tools to package your application for over-the-air deployment.
They manage to break backwards-compatibility with relatively simple applications in every single major OS release.

Right now we're looking into the Android Runtime compatibility layer they have available for the Playbook and are promising for BB10, but I'm dubious.

I just want it to go away. Switch to an Android core. Or even Windows Phone. Anything is better than the SDK you've been providing. Nobody wants to play with your toys. Stop pretending you're somehow providing us with a unique "opportunity".

And for fuck's sake, stop pretending that you've been "loving" your developers for all these years!
posted by WaylandSmith at 2:51 PM on September 25, 2012 [15 favorites]


This was one of the saddest things I've seen all day. So deeply uncool and desperate, but also earnest and enthusiastic. I almost feel bad for making fun of RIM so many times.
posted by melissam at 3:00 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "loving" developers would be a metric boatload more convincing if the developers who already have apps in RIM's store were eligible for it. But they're not - it's only for new apps.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 3:05 PM on September 25, 2012


Once again, yesterday's Gotta Have turns into a Who Uses That. For surely NOW we know what everyone REALLY has Gotta Have.
posted by DU at 3:12 PM on September 25, 2012


There's a deeply Canadian part of me that really, really wants to believe. Believe hard enough that I haven't actually dumped my RIM stock yet. And believe hard enough to keep on using my BB phone (though that may not be so much a vote of confidence as proof that yes, I am tighter than two coats of paint - the darn thing just won't die and free me to go phone shopping). I know it's whimsical and foolish, but I can't help myself.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 4:01 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't your government going to bail out RIM if things get tough enough? Better than having American corporations loot its corpse for patents.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:07 PM on September 25, 2012


I thought that was a hoot (maybe because I'm in my mid 30s). And I will be very very sad if RIM goes under. It takes me freakin' forever to type an email on my droid's virtual keyboard (even when using SwiftKey) compared to my BB's qwerty keyboard.
posted by bluesapphires at 4:45 PM on September 25, 2012


I like RIM. They're the patriotic choice and a genuine Canadian success story. But oh God, I couldn't watch that video all the way through...

The lameness, it burns.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:56 PM on September 25, 2012


Palm. Symiban. RIM.

They missed their shot, 3 years ago, to figure this out and go all in. They (the co-CEO's) decided that they knew better and dragged their feet. Egos bruised, they kept delaying. Now, their system is a novelty, used in developed nations only because of old-school IT and entrenched users. Some of RIM's technology will live on in developing parts of the world, where 2G bandwith is just coming to be. Lessons are tucked into this narrative.

Nokia was om the same spot and may possibly just have saved themselves. (See the "Burning Platform" email.) Maybe. RIM should have followed suit.

Windows OS is holding about 3 percent of the market (but at least they have a plan to compete and a ton of dough) and could be the death knell for RIM as an enterprise solution.

RIP RIM.
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:33 PM on September 25, 2012


Isn't your government going to bail out RIM if things get tough enough?

RIM doesn't need cash. It's got billions in the bank. Conceivably they could just say "this year is going to suck hard for sales, because we're turning the whole goddamned ship". But they're a public company, and they're likely to get eaten in a hostile takeover over lack of investor confidence. In other words, the problem is their share price and the perception (and growing reality) that the king is fallen, and still has a long way to fall.
posted by fatbird at 7:05 PM on September 25, 2012


Careful, everybody. You don't want any drunk and angry RIM executives mad at you. They might throw tantrums.
posted by discopolo at 9:08 PM on September 25, 2012


zerobyproxy: "Nokia was om the same spot and may possibly just have saved themselves. (See the "Burning Platform" email.)"

Nokia ensured their berth on the fail boat when they lashed themselves to Microsoft's sinking ship. They had an excellent replacement for Symbian and a framework to match. Less than a year before it was completed it was thrown in the bin, and done in a way that absolutely ensured their slowly growing base of Symbian users and developers turned into a rapidly diminishing base of users and developers.

It really should go down in history as one of the most boneheaded moves ever made in the mobile space at least. They had made some mistakes previously, but they were the sort that put them behind, not out, more akin to RIM a few years ago.

RIM will probably limp along a while longer, maybe even long enough to release a good OS. They still have a lot of users, the question is whether or not they can keep them for more than a few more years.
posted by wierdo at 9:43 PM on September 25, 2012


Apple II Forever
posted by flabdablet at 4:50 AM on September 26, 2012


RIM's overall problem is that nobody really buys a blackberry for the apps. In order to change that, they'd have to have lots of really fucking amazing apps that blow everyone's head off. Of course, to get those apps, they have to attract developers away from iOS. But the devs are making money with iOS, and nobody uses blackberry anymore...it's a chicken and egg problem. The problem is, Apple already used the egg to soak up the flour when they were breading RIM's chicken en route to the fryer. It's tasty, btw.

Focusing on apps is a losing strategy. Apps are a remnant of the bad old days when mobile browsers were so bad that it was cheaper and easier to develop an application and convince people to download it, than it was to try and make something useful happen on a browser.

The way out is to make a unit that doesn't need apps. Or, at least, to create a framework where apps aren't platform-dependent.

There IS a way for RIM to maintain credibility in the marketplace, but I'm not sure I know what it is.
posted by gjc at 6:12 AM on September 26, 2012


Word up on Nokia. I am one of the few people who owns a Nokia Belle device, and it is so tantalizingly close to perfect (for me). What it really needs are bugfixes and a big dev push. Alas that it looks like neither one will ever happen, because this is still a more capable device than most of what's out there.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:52 AM on September 26, 2012


gjc: "Apps are a remnant of the bad old days when mobile browsers were so bad that it was cheaper and easier to develop an application and convince people to download it, than it was to try and make something useful happen on a browser."

I disagree. The iPhone had dismal sales, although plenty of hype, until Apple relented and allowed third party apps to run on the phone. Don't get me wrong, a good web browser can cover for a lot, but it's not enough. We've had decent WebKit based browsers on mobile phones since 2006.
posted by wierdo at 9:30 AM on September 26, 2012


wierdo, I actually kind of worked on Maemo. There is a special strange camaraderie among people who worked on Maemo and MeeGo, a camaraderie that's only possible among people who were on the losing but righteous side of a fight. The conversation goes something like:

[person gets out an N900]
[other person mentions that they worked at Nokia or Collabora or whatever on Maemo]
"Maemo. God, what a missed opportunity that was."
"Oh God...."
[eye contact, instant rapport, words would be superfluous]


But anyway I came here to say that I am over 30 and I liked the video and thought it was fun.
posted by brainwane at 9:41 PM on September 26, 2012


I very much enjoyed my N900. It wasn't finished, but it wasn't supposed to be. Sadly, I never bought an N9 because it wasn't released here in the US. While I'm crazy enough to spend $500-600 on an import, $800 is just too much for me, which is what they were going for when the USB port on my N900 broke. Had there been a physical keyboard, I might have been able to break the psychological barrier, but you know how that turned out.

Funny enough, I was one of the folks complaining bitterly about the shrink. I wanted an N810 with modern hardware at the time. Turned out I didn't actually know what I wanted. Of course, when I saw that preview of MeeGo on the Intel tablet, I was back to wanting a tablet. What I wouldn't give for that interface on the Nexus 7.

I ended up with a Galaxy Nexus because it was half the price at the time and it works well enough for daily use. It is not, however, something that makes me feel compelled to get under the hood and screw around with it or that gives me any real joy. All that is to say that I understand, at least a little, where the camaraderie comes from.
posted by wierdo at 1:29 AM on September 27, 2012


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