blackberry_tablet_thumb[1] A number of sources, including Ars Technica and Bloomberg, report that Research In Motion is rumored to be turning to embedded software company QNX to provide the operating system for its new tablet, allegedly to be called the “BlackPad”. RIM actually bought QNX Software Systems from Harman International Industries in April for $200 million.

QNX embedded software is used in a variety of devices, ranging from BMW and Porsche car audio systems to medical devices to nuclear power plants to the Crusher robot tank. It has also been released as a downloadable bootable floppy disk distribution, and has a small but active open-source developer community. RIM reportedly hopes to take advantage of this community to promote application development for the BlackPad.

Meanwhile, PreCentral reports that Hewlett-Packard has officially confirmed, during an investor call, that a webOS tablet will be released “in early 2011”. Not many other details were forthcoming, however.

Of course, the big question is how any of these tablets will stack up against the 800-lb gorilla that is the iPad.


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