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RIM releases new PlayBook software

The PlayBook OS 2.0 software update is available as a free download. It also allows users to use their BlackBerry's as a keyboard and mouse for the Playbook.

twitter-logoAssociated Press | February 24, 2012 | Updated 18:05 IST

Research In Motion has released a free upgraded operating system for its struggling PlayBook computer tablet, almost a year later than it first said it would.

The BlackBerry maker said the software allows for built-in email, calendar and contacts on the tablet. When RIM launched the PlayBook last April it said would add the critical features within 60 days, but later pushed that back to the summer and then to October and finally to February.

The PlayBook received negative reviews because it launched without an email program and the popular messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. The new version still doesn't include the popular messaging service.

The PlayBook OS 2.0 software update is available as a free download. It also allows users to use their BlackBerry's as a keyboard and mouse for the Playbook.

The PlayBook is RIM's first effort to branch out from its smartphone base and capture a portion of the tablet computer market. The tablets however haven't been selling well, forcing the company to sell them at a deep discount.

In December, the tablets that originally cost $500 were selling for $200, below the cost of making them. RIM wrote off $485 million worth of inventory.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said they sold 150,000 Playbook tablets last quarter. That number pales in comparison to the top-selling iPad, of which Apple shipped 15.4 million units during its most recent quarter.

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