By the PlayBook
RIM's new tablet device is out and is aimed, fair and square, at the enterprise 2.0 market, buyers who don't necessarily care about the latest sexy features, popular games and cool apps but about security, compatibility and reliability.
However, business users (even the big, scary executive types) do care about such things, so RIM has a narrow tightrope to walk, while juggling snowballs on a warm day. The company is certainly getting on the right side of IT types, with IBM providing some much-needed software firepower at launch.
Notes on the Playbook
IBM's cloud-based productivity suite and its Connections and Notes social business software are among the first apps to make an appearance. On the security side, IBM is offering support from a new mobile collaboration strategy development team to help IBM enterprise clients manage the growing load of compatibility and security risks.
Notes on the Playbook, essential for many businesses
Most commentators and reviewers seem to think that the PlayBook has been rushed out and the software isn't yet ready for prime time. The QNX interface that replaces the BlackBerry mobile theme of old is impressive, but BlackBerry essentials such as email are now harder (or slower) to do on the tablet.
It does comes preloaded with Word, Sheet and Slideshow to Go apps provided by DataVis, enabling access to Microsoft Office format files on the go. Folk with existing BlackBerry devices can sync them using the Bridge software.
RIM will argue that it doesn't need to be sexy, that it is more secure than its rivals and it can do Flash. But that oh-so-important first impression appears to have been blown and RIM will have to work hard to patch up any damage done that might turn away its lifeblood of corporate buyers.