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BlackBerry wants to legally force developers to build apps for its devices

It’s no secret that the availability of apps is one of the biggest factors in a mobile operating system’s success, but BlackBerry doesn’t think its fair that developers aren’t bringing their apps and services to its own operating system. That’s probably why BlackBerry’s CEO made an almost amusingly stupid suggestion yesterday that the government force developers to design their apps for ALL mobile operating systems. 

Amidst the hoopla of Microsoft’s Windows 10 event yesterday, I missed a thoughtful letter posted on the BlackBerry blog. CEO John Chen penned it, sharing his thoughts with the FCC on net neutrality. He’s for it — I get and applaud that — but he wants to extend neutrality to apps and services as well. I don’t get that. What I see from that stance is a bit of sour grapes over the fact that BlackBerry phones have only a fraction of the relevance they had just a few years ago. Chen seems to think that since BlackBerry opened up its BBM software for other platforms, it’s a perfect example of his company leading the way for “app and service neutrality.” I suppose it is, but it’s also the only way his company could get a significant amount of new users on the service, so I doubt BlackBerry had noble policy intentions when offering BBM for Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone.

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