As Research in Motion gears up to launch its latest version of the BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, the company is hoping to keep its loyal customers happy and regain lost ground in the smartphone share. One of the biggest chunks of its customer base is made up of government officials, estimated to be around 1 million customers in just the North American region. This is mostly due to its biggest strength – security.

However, RIM definitely has reason to worry – iPhones and Android phones are taking over even their most loyal government customers. RIM CEO admits that the company has to take drastic measures to face the competition, while being realistic about all that the latest offering can hope to achieve. RIM plans to increase its customer base to include the individual consumer, and not just the business worker.

An even more damaging trend for the company has been the bring-your-own-device programs at many workplaces, letting employees opt for their own personal smartphones instead of using company-issued BlackBerry devices. RIM is now focusing on improving overall user experience and making BlackBerry convenient for personal as well as professional usage.

New features on BlackBerry 10 allow users to configure essentially two phones on the same device. While one section can be dedicated for games, users’ personal e-mail accounts, and data, the other section can be configured with users’ work e-mail accounts, company approved software, documents, etc. Users can choose to toggle between these two sections and even lockdown the business section when not in use.

BlackBerry 10 also has renewed focus on multitasking capabilities, letting users run multiple apps related to e-mail, messaging, social networks, and calendars in the background and even run up to eight apps at once. BlackBerry 10 is expected to debut sometime in January 2013 with around 70,000-100,000 apps on offer.