Last week at its BlackBerry DevCon conference, Research in Motion tried to excite developers about the forthcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 mobile operating system and spur developers to create applications for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, released last spring to poor reviews and low sales. But yesterday RIM said in a blog post that it was delaying the release of the PlayBook 2.0 OS "until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers, and users."
PlayBook OS 2.0 was originally promised for October 2011, but RIM has now set a target of February 2012. To meet the new release date, RIM said it was dropping a key feature originally promised for PlayBook OS 2.0: its popular BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging service.
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Developers were looking forward to the promised October PlayBook 2.0 OS release in hopes it might spur sales of the poorly selling tablet, especially as the original timing would have taken advantage of the holiday sales season that will also see the release of the unified tablet/smartphone Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system and a bevy of new smartphones that use Microsoft's recently released Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system, in addition to Apple's strong-selling iPad and new iPhone 4S, both featuring the recently released iOS 5 operating system.
Developers were also eager to test their applications on the revised PlayBook operating system, both for compatibility testing and to enhance existing apps or create new ones using the revised PlayBook software developers kit (SDK). To address that testing need, RIM said it will make a beta version of the PlayBook OS 2.0 available this week to developers for use with the SDK. But that beta will not include two of the major enhancements presented to developers last week: the Cascades animation toolkit and the revamped user interface toolkit.