back to article RIM PlayBook nabs first US gov't tablet certification

Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook has received a much-needed shot in the arm by becoming the first tablet to earn US government security certification. "RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first tablet approved under FIPS for use within the US federal government," said BlackBerry Security …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The Truth about FIPS 140-2

    Anyone who knows anything about FIPS would be able to tell you that getting a FIPS 140-2 validation certificate says nothing about the security of the product, as its focus is only on the operation of the cryptographic component. If you read the Security Policy document available from NIST, you'll find that the certificate applies only to "BlackBerry Tablet Cryptographic Kernel Version 5.6".

    1. Keith Williams
      Thumb Down

      Have any of the other tablets managed to achieve this?

      Apple is in the middle of the 2nd release of their tablet. Samsung, Asus, Acer and I am sure a lot of others have all released them, HP has one based on WEBOS. Have any of them acheived this? Nope.

      The cryptographic engine is the key reason people buy RIM eqipment and this has shown that they can migrate it to a different OS.

      The market for playbooks has just exploded.

      1. John Molloy

        "The market for playbooks has just exploded."

        Yeah, right. People will not being buying playbooks in any quantity.

        Not even people from the government.

  2. John Sanders

    Kowing RIM devices...

    I can tell you that the playbook is quite ok when it comes to security. (although it will get rooted sooner than later, although that will only happen if it becomes popular)

    However RIM's problem is that they have lost the plot.

    1) The current Os 6.0 is a bloody train-wreck, it has so many bugs, that there are bugs on the bugs themselves, the browser is useless, the mp3 player lacks basic functionality (like allowing for making file scan exclusions), the interface sucks on Os6.0 big time, it doesn't fit well on the keyboard models, and lacks on the tactile ones too. It is quite convoluted, the music player for example has many screens depending if you are looking for something or playing something already. You never get the one you want.

    2) It is quite likely that Rim will not produce any more "serious" updates to the current bold/torch leaving their faithful and loyal user base with a handset locked to a 1.5-2 year contract. The current models were obsoletes upon launch.

    Rim has lost me as a customer. Hello Android (there are plenty of androids bbry-like coming soon)

  3. ZenCoder

    Great move by RIM

    There is plenty of room in the government and business markets for a tablet that makes security its number one priority.

    I'm sure Android fans will disagree, but right now I feel that the only company that can defeat Apple in the consumer tablet market is Apple.

    Right now Apple is neglecting users who want a tablet larger than a phone, but still small enough to carry with you.

    Also I find the Asus Eee Pad Transformer to be a very interesting product.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I agree that OS6 is a trainwreck. The horrid design of the screen lock key and the supersensitivity of the screen have cause me to nearly call a client at 2am, and send another one eight blank emails.

    And the music player is, indeed, terrible.

    But it's worth remembering that the PlayBook is -not- running os6; it's running a new qnx-based OS which is really quite nice, and rock solid. I don't think I've had an OS crash on mine, and I've had it since launch (I'm a developer).

    Maybe the spooks will play my strategy game...

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Sorry but even as I'm a Blackberry whore (sadly can't go around calling myself a RIM whore in public,) this is old news.

    The Playbook was designed from the off to be a tablet to be allowed to handle government information. So a device that was designed to do a specific job is allowed to do that job. Next you'll be telling us Amy Winehouse died of an drug overdose!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BlackBerry fan?

    "Barack Obama is famously a big BlackBerry fan – so much so that RIM designed a super-secure model just for him."

    No wonder they're losing money.

  7. Jean-Paul

    I agree

    This was always going to be the USP for RIM, but despite getting what they set out to get they still have missed an opportunity. It only works when within range of the phone, heck in some of the hotel suites that I am staying in the connection doesn't work from the bedroom to the lounge, let alone in my house. Does one have to carry two devices all the time to be able to do mail?

    Come on RIM it is 2011.

  8. Hunch

    Can the Playbook replace my Bold?

    I'm watching the progress of RIM playbook with interest. If they install an email client on it then I would consider replacing my corporate bold with a corporate playbook.

    Since the corporate world has started locking down handsets so you can't add or change any features on them to make them useful, most of my colleagues have gone down the route of carrying two handsets. One for corporate email and one for everything else. If I can get a non-corporate Android/Iphone for all my smart phone function, then the form factor for the playbook would be great for email/reviewing documents/spread sheets/slide decks etc.

    I'm currently stuck with a newish Bold 9780 so would love to offload it. It replaced my trusty 9100 where the form factor was just that bit bigger so I could type without hitting two keys at a time and it had a simple OS that did what I wanted. At least RIM has realised the error with dropping the 9100 form factor. Hopefully they remember above all other things a blackberry product is about email simplicity.

    1. Bob Boblowski

      RE: Can the Playbook replace my Bold?

      I think you'll find that the Playbook is actually designed to complement your Bold, rather than to replace it. Using a 9780 in combination with a Playbook here, and I think it's one of the best thought-out products I've used in a long time. It's a bit like having a dual-monitor workstation for on the road. Looking up figures or info on the Playbook, while calling or messaging on the Bold -- or the other way round if you'd prefer. Perfect for getting serious work done.

      And it integrates very nicely with our security infrastructure as well, though I understand that for most people that's a non-issue.

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