Its this part of the year again: while the rest of the world is running around celebrating and accepting usury cup deposits of more than 2 Euros per cup, yours truly is sitting in front of his MSI Wind U100, creating a reflection on the events of the year.
BlackBerry users will IMHO have quite a ride in 2009: the platform is on its way to undergo the biggest transformation ever. So far, BlackBerries were featureless, plain business devices. But RIM is no longer satisfied with the business clientele it now wants to target consumers.
This puts the company in an even worse position than Microsoft: while Microsoft devices can be programmed natively (and this have a rich selection of media players from third parties), RIM OS is limited to a spruced-up J2ME runtime which can not run native code (AFAIK).
Developers thus are disadvantaged over programs embedded in the ROM of the box: their code will always run (a lot) slower, which is subideal for multimedia stuff (and puts the whole burden of development efforts back on RIMs shoulders)..
The next raging issue has the shape of the BlackBerry Storm (and touchscreen devices in general). RIM has no experience with touchscreens getting this will be a hard time for them. Of course, touchscreen excellence can be bought for cheap in the shape of UIQ: but I am not sure if the company still has any valuable human resources left.
2009 will IMHO be a very wild ride stay tuned to TamsBlackBerry for the full scoop!
P.S. Similar thingies will pop up at our sister sites shortly. In case you are interested in my outlook on any of the platforms below, just hit the link and enjoy!