RIM announces BlackBerry 7 OS with better browser and BlackBerry Balance

The BB OS 6.1 update that grew too big for its name has just been made official by RIM as BlackBerry 7. Its ambassador into the wide world of smartphones will be the newly minted BlackBerry Bold Touch, which is expected to arrive "this summer." What can you look forward to? The user experience is promised to be both easier and faster, voice-activated searches are available for content both on your phone and the web, and the browser has been "significantly enhanced" with new features like a JIT (just-in-time) JavaScript compiler and HTML5 Video support. BlackBerry Balance is also part of the new OS, allowing you to compartmentalize your personal and professional lives into neat and separate piles of content. Full PR can be found after the break.

Update: RIM has just noted that there will be "no legacy support" with BB 7, meaning that older devices, even those running version 6 of the OS, won't be getting any (official) updates to the latest stuff. This has been justified by how tightly integrated the software build is with the underlying graphics hardware in the touch-capable Bold handsets. Basically, the old phones won't be able to run the new OS. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there's no trace of QNX in BB 7.

 "I LOVE my Bold, but i can't wait to get my hands on this device!"

More info here.