Alec Saunders

Former BlackBerry developer relations chief lands at Microsoft's venture capital arm

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Alex Saunders, former BlackBerry developer relations lead goes to Microsoft

Alec Saunders, formerly the BlackBerry VP of Developer Relations and the QNX, has landed at Microsoft. Specifically, after having left BlackBerry back in October, Saunders is now a "Principal Technical Evangelist" at Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft's venture capital arm.

Project Ion VP and ex-developer relations manager Alec Saunders leaving BlackBerry

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Alec Saunders

BlackBerry's Alec Saunders has announced his departure from the company sometime between now and November 3. We don't normally harp on outgoing BlackBerry staff, but Alec Saunders was a high profile guy who figured largely in many important launches. Prior to taking on the role of VP of Cloud Businesses and heading up Project Ion, BlackBerry's play into the Internet of Things space, Saunders was VP of Developer Relations, where he worked like crazy to win over app creators to BlackBerry 10 before it launched.

Talking OS 10.2.1 and Android apps on BB10 FAQ, w/ BlackBerry's Alec Saunders

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Alec Saunders

Earlier this week, BlackBerry posted on their dev blog an official note about the Android Runtime update coming to users as part of OS 10.2.1.

There is more to 10.2.1 than updating the runtime from Gingerbread 2.3 to Jelly Bean 4.2.2  -- this is also the update that allows BlackBerry app developers to build headless apps -- a much sought after feature by native BlackBerry app developers and BlackBerry 10 owners alike.

That said, the deeper integration between BlackBerry 10 and Android in 10.2.1 is garnering a massive amount of attention from users, as with this update BlackBerry 10 owners can now install Android .apk files (actual Android apps) directly onto their phone. 

With a high percentage of Android apps compatible and working flawlessly on BlackBerry 10.2.1, this update basically means the perceived "app gap" in the BlackBerry ecosystem has been closed, with only a little crack remaining. Looking at the top 50 Android apps in the Google Play store, nearly all of them will work perfectly on BB10, as will tens and literally hundreds of thousands more. 

With a big move like this there are a lot of questions to be asked. Luckily, we have answers. And where we didn't have them ourselves, we asked BlackBerry's VP of Developer Relations and BlackBerry Ecosystem Builder, Alec Saunders for some clarification.

BlackBerry's Alec Saunders: "We're definitely not going away"

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Alec Saunders

We caught up with Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations, at BlackBerry Jam Asia to gauge the sentiment of local developers and figure out how BlackBerry's developer strategy is evolving.

If you watched the keynote, you'll certainly notice that the overall angle was new. OS 10.2 has been in the hands of developers for awhile, so Jam Asia wasn't so much about launching new tools, but rather demonstrating what was often called a "mobile computing vision." This was done by showing what devs could do right now in a number of ways - using Bluetooth Smart to monitor heart rate devices, or USB host to make an absolutely insane rocking chair/pong game, or secure data transfer to put BBM on a Windows screen. Here's what Saunders had to say about the slight change in direction.

Alec Saunders shares insight into RIM, their future and BlackBerry 10 at Mobile Monday in Indonesia

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Alec Saunders

Alec Saunders, Vice President Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development at Research In Motion has been doing a bit of international traveling as of late, all for the cause of spreading the RIM word and bringing awareness to BlackBerry developers. His most recent trip took him to Kuningan, South Jakarta where in addition to speaking to BlackBerry developers at a Mobile Monday Indonesia event, he also gave a very forward interview with The Jakarta Globe: 

Missed the BlackBerry 10 Jam Keynote? - Watch it here

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