Research-in-Motion, developer of the BlackBerry smartphone and tablet platform, has provided updates to its development of the next-generation PlayBook tablet operating system. It seems the much-awaited native support for BlackBerry Messaging has been left out in this update.

Support From Enterprise Customers

In a corporate blog post, RIM's SVP for BlackBerry PlayBook David J. Smith, says that the company will be working closely with enterprise customers for the beta testing of the upcoming BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0. Smith likewise relates that the company has been working hard at incorporating new features, but has left out the much-awaited native support for BlackBerry Messaging.

The progress update includes the following points:

  • BBM support. RIM says they "decided to defer the inclusion of BBM to a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook release." In the meantime, users can continue to use the PlayBook's built-in BlackBerry Bridge feature to ride on a compatible BlackBerry smartphone's messaging feature.
  • Software Development Kit. RIM has announced the gold release of the BlackBerry PlayBook, which allows developers to port their native applications to the PlayBook platform. The SDK will soon be updated with full support for the Cascades animation and UI engine demonstrated earlier at the BlackBerry DevCon.
  • PlayBook OS 2.0 beta. RIM will also run a closed beta program meant for select enterprise customers through the Early Adopter Program (EAP). The beta will run through the end of 2011, and will ensure that the upcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 release meets enterprise customers' expectation in terms of security, manageability, enterprise app deployment and email integration.

A Seamless Tablet Experience

Smith says RIM wants to ensure a "seamless user experience for personal and professional needs," and wants to make sure the PlayBook OS 2.0 release will be able to make the platform more attractive to both enterprises and end-users.

We believe BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 will deliver a great experience for our customers, building on the powerful performance introduced with BlackBerry PlayBook tablet earlier this year. The software update will add advanced integrated email, calendar and contact apps, a new video store, as well as new functionality that will allow your BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook to work together even better.

The Blackberry PlayBook OS 2.0 will launch to customers in February 2012 as an update to existing PlayBook hardware and built into upcoming PlayBook tablets.