BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0: Four Things IT Needs to Know

RIM this week rolled out a major software update for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet PC, with new native e-mail and PIM apps, a number of cool new productivity features and corporate server support that's sure to have significant IT implications.'s Al Sacco details four things IT managers should know about PlayBook OS 2.0.

Wed, February 22, 2012

CIO — BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) first entry into the fiercely competitive tablet market, the PlayBook, wasn't exactly well-received by the masses when it was released last April. A variety of factors contributed to the lukewarm reaction, but the PlayBook's lack of a dedicated e-mail client and native personal information management (PIM) apps, such as a calendar and contacts, were the focus of the negativity. The PlayBook also did not connect to corporate BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES), making it less than ideal for businesspeople.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0

Yesterday, RIM shored up some of these holes in its PlayBook software with the much-anticipated release of PlayBook OS 2.0. PlayBook users now have native e-mail and PIM, and the tablets can be connected to Microsoft Exchange servers for access to corporate mail, contacts and calendar--though not via BES. What follows is a quick list of facts that all BlackBerry and IT managers who are responsible for RIM smartphones and tablets should know about the new PlayBook 2.0 software.

1) BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Native E-Mail, PIM Apps

With the PlayBook OS update, corporate BlackBerry PlayBook users can now securely connect to their organizations' Microsoft Exchange Servers for access to Outlook e-mail, contacts and calendar. The native applications will work over a BlackBerry smartphone's wireless connection if the tablets and handheld are "Bridged" using the BlackBerry Bridge app, so Wi-Fi isn't necessary to access native e-mail and PIM. However, the PlayBook doesn't connect to Exchange via BES, like the current crop of BlackBerry smartphones. Instead, the PlayBook supports Microsoft ActiveSync for Exchange access.

This new support is notable because RIM has traditionally avoided ActiveSync like the plague, in an attempt to build loyalty around its BES software. And because PlayBooks don't connect to BES, IT managers cannot use BES software to secure and manage them. To address this new need for tablet management options, and for security and management features for additional mobile platforms including iOS and Android, RIM has released BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Native Mailbox
BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Native Mailbox

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