RIM BlackBerry PlayBook becomes first tablet certified for U.S. government

The iPad and other tablets have been primarily focused on the email and media experience, but the federal government is more interested in security and utility. The PlayBook just earned certification that could see PlayBooks appearing in the hands of federal employees.

You may not think so from my recent BlackBerry PlayBook post, but I do really like the device and think it has the potential to be one of the best tablets available. I bought one on release day, just finished writing Wiley's BlackBerry PlayBook Companion, and I am still seriously considering a BlackBerry Bold 9900 purchase when these new BlackBerry smartphones launch. RIM announced that the PlayBook is the first tablet certified for the U.S. government.

RIM launched the BlackBerry PlayBook with support for personal/business/government data only available through a Bluetooth connection with a BlackBerry smartphone. This upset quite a few people and disappointed me a bit too since I don't have a BB smartphone myself. However, this tight control on data likely helped RIM gain FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certification from NIST and now we may see BlackBerry PlayBook tablets appearing in the hands of federal government employees.

I served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 12 years and would have loved to have a large screen tablet to go along with my mobile phone for easier review and editing of data on the go. We haven't yet seen any announcements for major government orders, but now with the FIPS certification those may be coming and it would be a great time for RIM to continue improving the PlayBook through software updates.

The BlackBerry PlayBook also just earned the Best in Show and Best of FOSE in handheld devices category at this federal government information technology conference in DC this week. RIM advertises the PlayBook as the world's first professional-grade tablet and this certification and awards help back up that claim.

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