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BlackBerry OS 7 Features Announced--But It Won't Run On Older Devices



This morning, RIM finally unveiled its next generation mobile operating system, BlackBerry OS 7. It's not a giant leap forward, but RIM is detailing a faster and easier-to-use OS that comes with an integrated, voice-enabled Universal Search system.

BlackBerry fans that have been frustrated by the operating system's chronically sluggish Web experience will be pleased to know that OS 7 offers a "significantly enhanced" browser with HTML5 video support and speed updates.

Interestingly, OS 7 won't have any legacy support, meaning that even the current generation Bold or Touch that you bought last year will be left behind -- you'll need to have one of RIM's brand new 9900 or 9930 devices to run it. SlashGear writes that according to RIM, "the reasoning behind the absent upgrades is that the new OS is so dependent on the hardware graphics capabilities of its new handsets."

RIM's new BlackBerry Balance application, though, will work on any device running OS 6.0 or later. First detailed in January, Balance is RIM's solution for combining both your personal and corporate accounts -- and all the security requirements that those require -- on a single device. For example, you can wipe all of the enterprise data from your phone, while still leaving the personal accounts intact. Or, social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter can be given limited access to anything from your corporate accounts.