Last week RIM announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook was granted FIPS 140-2 certification. This makes the PlayBook the first tablet to be approved for use by US federal government employees, which is a pretty big thing. It seems this is opening up doors in other places as well, as Russia is now looking into banning Apple's iPad for government use, and looking into the PlayBook as a more secure alternative.
The reports suggest the government is still deciding whether it will use devices from RIM, tablets running Google Inc.’s Android software or a new device created by a Russian agency using “a variety of security systems.” The implementation of a more secure system will help “speed up workflow among agencies” according to the report.
If true, the backing of the Russian government could prove to be another victory for RIM as it seeks to use its reputation of prioritizing security technology to position the BlackBerry PlayBook as the tablet of choice for businesses and governments, the way it originally marketed its BlackBerry smartphones.
Indeed, it was RIM’s security technology which helped the company’s BlackBerry devices to become the gold standard of mobile devices for government agencies around the world, including the Canadian government and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If this goes through, it could go a long way towards regaining some of that market share that Research in Motion has lost in recent months, as Russia would possibly be the first of many governments to adopt the tablet for use. BlackBerry has long been known for putting security at the top of the priority list, and the PlayBook has been no exception to this standard which may prove to be a big advantage.
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