Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
BlackBerry last night revealed BBM for Windows at its BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013 in Hong Kong. The company further hinted that BBM for OS X was a possibility.
Unsurprisingly, the Canadian company wouldn’t give a release date for either platform. Nevertheless, it’s clear that BlackBerry doesn’t want to just expand to mobile platforms Android and iOS; it also wants BBM on your desktop in one form or another.
According to at least two reports (BBin and BerryReview), the app was referred to as BBM on Desktop, though it’s not clear whether that is the final name of the app.
BerryReview snagged this photo of the Windows client, which was clearly shown off on the big screen above the audience:
BBin has a better shot:
It’s hard to make out, but BBM for Windows looks like an instant messaging client with the BlackBerry 10 design. Both publications present at the conference noted, however, that this is not a true desktop messaging client: it will require the smartphone app to function.
BBM for Desktop will thus work similarly to how BBM works on the BlackBerry PlayBook via BlackBerry Bridge. You’ll have to link your smartphone with your computer over Wi-Fi so that messages (as well as files and photos) are routed through your mobile device. In other words, you’ll still only be able to login to BBM on just one device.
A desktop option could give BlackBerry an edge in the cross-platform messaging space, as competition from the likes of WhatsApp and WeChat, which are mobile-only, is already quite fierce. There’s also Facebook Messenger, which is available on the Web (of course) as well as Windows.
This sounds like good news to us (though the requirement of a mobile device could be a deal-breaker), but of course its success will greatly depend on execution. The failed launch of BBM for Android and iOS doesn’t make us hopeful.
See also – BlackBerry halts BBM for iOS rollout and pulls leaked Android app and BlackBerry says BBM for Android and iOS won’t relaunch this week as blocking leaked app ‘will take some time’
Top Image Credit: Berrytokyo / Flickr
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