Everybody from technology analysts and journalists to BlackBerry's loyal fans and the common users realize this is BlackBerry's last ditch effort. Will the erstwhile smartphone market leader rise from the ashes like Amitabh Bachchan did, or get lost into oblivion and enter the list of "Tech companies that didn't last the race"? (Case in point: Kodak)
Also read: BlackBerry 10 Looking Good, says SAP CIO
The Excitement in the Air
It is indeed too early to predict the future of BlackBerry right now, but there is a group of people who have stood by the company and are embracing the new OS. They are the IT leaders of the enterprise, the CIOs.
An excited Sharat Airani, chief IT -- systems and security, Forbes Marshall, says, "Fans like me have waited nearly a year for a new BlackBerry release. On first viewing, the wait could be worth it."
Similarly, Manish Shah, GM-IT at Indus Fila, cannot control his excitement about BB10 too. He says, "BB10, in one word, is outstanding. It is now actually an OS and not just an e-mail platform with extended app functionality. It has speed, an intuitive user interface, and some more great features."
Pros and Cons -- The CIO Perspective
It is a universally acknowledged fact that nobody makes keyboards for portable devices like BlackBerry does. Now, when a company tries to veer away from its field of expertise and creates a flagship phone -- Z10 -- without a physical keypad, you know it is bound to invite debate.
"Touch is now indeed a key feature of the device, call it a competition or the flow of the day, but I am more comfortable with typing lengthy e-mails on a hard keypad than on a touchscreen," says Airani.
Contradicting his views is Mehta. "A physical keypad is not necessarily important for a professional on-the-move. Traditionally, all users were only exposed to using gadgets with physical keypads, whereas almost all new and advanced gadgets are all touch-based."
However, Shah is neutral. "Coke or Pepsi? Physical keypad or virtual keypad on touchscreen? It's the same. Both have their own set of loyal fans. I feel the younger generation prefers on-screen keypad, whereas the others are more comfortable with the physical one."
But BlackBerry has persisted on making the touch-enabled on-screen keypad work as efficiently as an alternative to its physical counterpart. "The trusted, secure device has friendly and easy-to-navigate home screens with amazing typing speed due to auto-flow and flash/prompt of words to form sentences just by sliding the finger," informs Mehta, who uses two BlackBerry devices: The Bold 9700, and the Playbook.
In fact, Mehta goes on to make a list of positives he has noted in the new platform. "BB10 has a new peek and flow feature, screen sharing that can allow users to share work and make presentations, voice chat and video conference on BBM, data partitions for work-related official data and personal for greater security, bookmarks for future read, fantastic screen for video and images and the plethora of business apps which will help corporate users on the move."
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