CEO of BlackBerry hints at BBM going ‘beyond handsets’, maybe going to desktop

Barcelona, Spain – BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). While not many Windows Phone users are too familiar with the popular and secure messaging service, things will change later this year as a Windows Phone 8 client is launched (probably for 8.1).

This morning, BlackBerry held their press conference where the company is certainly far from the grave that some have proclaimed. Indeed, the company announced two new devices (Q20 and Z3) and mentioned they’re working on some new high-end devices for later this year. In addition, they announced BES 12 and more on enterprise services coming to, more of which you can read at CrackBerry.

During the Q&A session, John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, was asked about the Facebook – WhatsApp deal. Considering the $16B transaction, it looks like BlackBerry missed a bit opportunity to be ‘the’ universal mobile messenger. As a reaction, Chen – who’s very candid – said that they’re thinking “beyond handsets and the phone” for BBM, strongly indicating that putting their messenger on desktop was on the table.

This makes sense, from a development perspective. Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 will share around 70% of programming libraries, making co-development on both platforms much more streamlined. The argument is, ‘if Windows Phone, then why not Windows’ (or vice-versa)?

Will BlackBerry make a desktop BBM client? They should. And they better. WhatsApp, which is tied to your phone number, has a more difficult time leaving the mobile world. BBM though is based on a PIN and ID system, making it transferable to other devices. Desktop should, in theory, be trivial (one issue though is BBM can only be ‘active’ on one device at a time).

It will certainly be interesting to see where things head later in 2014. Stay tuned.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.