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RIM provides a proprietary multi tasking operating system OS for the BlackBerry, which makes heavy use of the devices specialized input devices, particularly the scroll wheel 1999 2006 or more recently the trackball September 12 2006 Present. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Servers email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Dominos email. The current OS 4 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchanges email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes.

Third party developers can write software using these APIs, proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well, but any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application, but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code.

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