I am late giving my impressions on last week Blackberry World. Blame or credits must be given to the generosity of our host as most of you must be aware that all participants left with a Playbook which is keeping me really busy.
The opening keynote was really impressive. Most accompaning movies were on 3D with special Glasses waiting for us on our chairs. We were not surprised to see as first guest Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's CEO to praise the joint work on flash but it was a surprise to see right after Steve Ballmer announcing that Bing was going to be the search platform of choice for the Playbook. Ballmer was his usual self, energetic, engaging and quite graceful when he half-jokingly proclamed his foundess for Windows Mobile Devices.
Additional speakers included Lotus VP Messaging Kevin Cavanaugh as well as a multitude of start-ups and game producers who are porting their content to the Playbook. One such game portrays a samurai fighter whose bloody exploits generated audible gasps from the mostly business-minded audience.
The most outstanding speaker however proved to be Facebook VP Global Advertisinig sales, Carolyn Everson who delivered a simple and powerful messages that engaging communities is far powerful that features that no one use.
My first impressions with the Playbook are very positive. The device is very fast with a superb screen. I have paired it with my bold and am already using various apps to access our internal Sharepoint sites and all my RSS links. Browsing is a breeze and when the Amazon kindle is added, this could be all my mobile computing needs.
A few devices are now in the hands of our developers who are working on complementary Playbook apps for Monitor and Analyzer so watch this space.
The next 6 months will be key for RIM to establish the device. No one here unerstimated how competitive this market is but the mood was definitely upbeat and many attendees felt this to be the best of the Blackberry World they attended.
The GSX team was busy showing Monitor V10 and Steve Bystan had a vendor speaking session. We still found time for our traditional company morning golf outing, a picture of the team which shows me with a somewhat uneasy grin given Steve's stance in the background ...