BlackBerry Playbook's next OS gets delayed - and will come with no BBM

Developers and early adopters to get a sniff of operating system before 2012 release...

Developers and early adopters to get a sniff of operating system before 2012 release...

BlackBerry maker RIM has announced delays to the launch of the next iteration of PlayBook OS, the operating system for its PlayBook tablet.

The operating system update, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, will now not be available to users until February of 2012 - some six months later than its original expected launch date of summer this year.

"We know that many of you are looking forward to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, and we wanted to provide you with an update on the progress that we're making.

As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end users," David J Smith, RIM's SVP of BlackBerry PlayBook, wrote in a post on the Inside BlackBerry blog.

RIM will shortly begin the process of running trials of beta versions of PlayBook OS 2.0 in businesses, the blog said, with companies that are part of its early adopter programme. Developers will also get their hands on the beta, to allow them to port their native apps to the platform.

BlackBerry email, calendar, BBM apps on PlayBook

BBM can be accessed on the PlayBook by using BlackBerry BridgePhoto: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

When the OS does eventually reach consumers next year, it will be missing some planned functionality: according to the blog, BBM won't be available in PlayBook OS 2.0 and will instead be deferred to a later release. Those who want to use the messaging service on their tablet will need to use BlackBerry Bridge, the tech that couples the tablet with a user's BlackBerry handset.

The PlayBook OS will eventually be superseded by another operating system known as BBX. BBX, announced by RIM last week is designed to work across both handset and tablet devices from BlackBerry.

The PlayBook tablet, launched earlier this year, has so far failed to set the sales charts alight, shipping hundreds of thousands of units a quarter compared to Apple's millions of sales over the same period.

RIM has also had to contend with a BlackBerry outage earlier this month which saw its services knocked offline for three days.

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