Blackberry's PR offensive continues while its PlayBook receives unwanted negative attention. It is the first tablet, the team says, which has been certified for use in US government.
This is the target RIM was aiming for. Its CrackBerries ensured government officials were handed a goody-bag which included the mobile, keeping them working and in touch when they were otherwise out of touch. As we've already seen, government institutions are impressed by shiny tablets, with the NHS contemplating the Galaxy Tab.
If the trouble is with servers and security, RIM thinks it is onto a winner with its Federal Information Processing Standard certification (FIPS).
The PlayBook was never going to win in consumer tablets. It might not win over governments either, but if there is one thing we have learned since the iPad appeared, it's that executives need little excuse to equip themselves with gadgetry. Arguably, the question is despite the certification, whether it is a good enough product to snare government spending ie. public money.
Governments will have spent more on less, and that is saying something considering the, er, mixed reviews for the PlayBook. Perhaps a rumoured updated version would do the trick. It would at least bring in contract revenues to a company struggling with the two-headed Hydra at the top, and media diva Mike Lazaridis.
It does open up another can of worms. Earlier this year RIM was plagued by demands from governments around the world to release its data, for "security purposes". Would PlayBook emails fall under that category?
Unfortunately we haven't had a response yet, so we don't know, for now.