First Takes: BlackBerry 6 Is ‘Fresh But Familar’

Next quarter we’ll see just how revolutionary BlackBerry’s latest operating system is when it officially comes out, but for now Research In Motion has provided a brief glimpse of what the new phones will look like at its nearly week-long event in Orlando.
The presentation by RIM’s Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis — and cameo from Black-Eyed Peas’ will.i.am — focused primarily on a two-minute video that demonstrated how easy it was to tap the screen to select and then swipe to get to the next application or program. But much of it was still left to the imagination.
Although BlackBerry’s market share has grown quickly over the past few years, this overhaul may determine whether the Canadian handset-maker can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in the space. While the OS was in development, Lazaridis said they kept in mind three principles: the OS had to be easy to use, but powerful; fun, but approachable; and fresh but familiar.
Crackberry writes: “It keeps the best of BlackBerry and modernizes it with some of the features we have been seeing in other mobile operating systems (and adds some new ones of its own)…Will it be enough to keep RIM’s momentum going strong? We certainly hope so. During the keynote Lazaridis told us his mission… he wants to see the number of BlackBerry subscribers double from the current 41 million to over 100 million.”
— Quoting Black-Eyed Peas’ song “Boom boom Pow,” Digital daily’s John Paczkowski calls BlackBerry 6 “So 2008, So 2000 and Late.”… “As a mobile operating system, it