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RIM hires former Apple, Microsoft designer

Don Lindsay worked on both Mac OS X and Windows Vista, and will now try his hand in the mobile arena with the BlackBerry.

Don Lindsay will bring his design expertise to RIM products such as the BlackBerry Storm. CNET

Research in Motion will attempt to shake up its design ethos with a new hire who has worked at both Apple and Microsoft.

Moconews noticed Thursday that RIM has hired Don Lindsay as its new vice president of user experience. Lindsay is "currently creating the VP of UX role at RIM," according to his LinkedIn profile, in what will likely involve changes to the look and feel of the BlackBerry.

Lindsay's software design chops date back to a 9-year stint at Apple, where he played an instrumental role in the design of Mac OS X and iLife. Most recently, he was director of Microsoft's Live Labs project (now disbanded), and also played a role in the major design changes Microsoft unveiled with Windows Vista.

The BlackBerry is currently on a roll, but competition is heating up in the smartphone market as software becomes as much of a differentiating factor as hardware. Bringing on a software design veteran with Lindsay's expertise can only help.